Kaiser Permanente Takes Health Care Solar in California

Health care company Kaiser Permanente announced an agreement to build 15 megawatts (MW) of solar power at 15 California facilities by the summer of 2011.

The agreement with project develper Recurrent Energy is one of the largest sustainable energy programs in U.S. health care.

The 15 MW of solar power will provide part of the electricity needed
to run the buildings at the sites, which include Vallejo and Santa Clara
medical centers in Northern California, and Fontana and San Diego
medical centers in Southern California.

The solar power systems
will produce an average of 10% of the power demand at the 15 sites.

Kaiser Permanente will purchase the solar power through power
purchase agreements with San Francisco-based Recurrent Energy, which
will own and operate all of the solar power systems. The agreement allows the not-for-profit health plan and
hospital system to partner with a private entity that is eligible for a
30% tax credit available to private companies such as Recurrent
Energy. Kaiser Permanente also will retain all the Renewable Energy
Credits awarded for these solar projects.

Kaiser Permanente said installing solar panels on its hospitals, medical offices, and other buildings is the first part of a larger plan to use onsite renewable energy sources to power Kaiser Permanente’s buildings nationwide.

“These solar agreements are a major step toward the goal of including a wide array of renewable sources in our energy portfolio,” said John Kouletsis, director of Strategy, Planning and Design for Kaiser Permanente’s National Facilities Services group. In the future, energy sources could include thermal energy, wind, and fuel cells in addition to solar, the company said in a release.

Kaiser Permanente said it will use sustainable design and construction practices to complete roughly 6.7 million square feet of new construction in the next seven years.

The health care provider currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia.

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