Once it is built, the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, N.J., will be among the few hospitals in the nation to use a combined heat and power (CHP) system to power itself.
The CHP system, which features a thermal energy storage system, will produce electricity as well as steam for heating and chilled water for air conditioning, according to a press release.
The hospital, to be completed in late 2011, also will rely on solar energy and will have energy saving smart meters.
By having an on-site CHP system, the $442 million hospital will have 100 percent redundancy for its energy needs, because it will be backed up by the local utility too.
The CHP system is part of a 13-year contract with NRG Energy Inc.
Gundersen Lutheran hospital in Wisconsin is another example of a hospital aiming to be 100 percent self-reliant for energy needs. In February 2008, the hospital set a goal to generate 100 percent of its electricity using renewable energy by 2014.
Gundersen Lutheran is partnering with a local brewery on a co-generation project. To help defray the costs of lighting and ventilating a parking garage, the hospital added solar panels to the garage roof. To help the hospital reach its 100 percent goal, Gundersen Lutheran is looking to hydrokinetic and wind power.
The U.S. healthcare sector accounts for 8 percent of the country’s carbon-dioxide emissions.