The Energy Collective, August 26, 2017
A hospital is not just a place for healing; it’s a place of discovery. It is not only a place to diagnose, but also to develop. It represents the community it serves and contributes to its health and prosperity. And as the second most-intensive users of energy around the country, it seems logical that hospitals would look to employ renewable energy to curb their emissions that affect the quality of air, and thus health, in their communities.
Some hospitals have already embraced renewables. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente displayed leadership and a regard for community health by energizing 15MW of solar energy systems across fifteen of its California locations. The onsite systems will diversify each site’s energy portfolio, as well as help to improve air quality and overall public wellness.
This community stewardship has not been limited to sunny California. In 2014, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Partners HealthCare began purchasing a substantial portion of its energy from renewable energy source.
In Modern HealthCare magazine, John Messervy, Director of Capital and Facility Planning at Partners said, “Our responsibility as a healthcare provider is not just about taking care of people when they are ill, […] It’s really looking at the health and wellness of the community as a whole, and how we contribute to that.” For Partners, the purchase of renewables aligned directly with the values of the organization and allowed for them to save on their unit cost of power.
However, aside from a few pioneers, many hospitals have taken the cautious approach when dealing with renewables. A chief concern for this stems from the highly-regulated flow of operations that onsite construction could potentially disrupt. Coupled with a high demand for 24/7 energy that requires a reliable, efficient, and cost effective source of power, creating a complex and intentional energy-purchasing strategy, implementing energy changes is a complex process.
Want to go solar but not sure how? Here are a few things hospitals should consider when contemplating renewables.
The benefits of clean, renewable power and a diverse energy portfolio teamed with energy savings and environmental stewardship significantly outweigh the potential challenges. Though still, it is important for hospitals to work closely with a trusted partner to discuss their site’s unique needs and how to work through them. The Sol Systems team has experience developing solar for hospitals, and provides flexibility to work with any schedule. For hospitals looking to go solar, contact our team at email@example.com.