Kaiser Permanente has gone live with the first stage of its California-based solar power initiative at Santa Clara Medical Center. The solar panels will produce 8.5 percent of the power used at the medical center. It is the first of 15 locations that will turn on sustainable energy programs this year, the company reported.
Kaiser Permanente agreed in March 2010 to install solar power systems capable of generating 15 megawatts of solar power at 15 of its California facilities, a deployment that is one of the largest in U.S. health care.
Recurrent Energy will build, own, and operate the solar power systems at the Kaiser Permanente hospitals and office facilities. The power systems include rooftop solar, ground mount solar, and elevated solar above existing ground-level parking spaces and garages. All sites are expected to be operational by the summer.
When completed, the 15 megawatts of solar power will produce an average of 10 percent of the electricity at the facilities, which include the Vallejo Medical Center in Northern California, and medical offices in Lancaster and La Mesa in Southern California.
Kaiser Permanente first used solar power in 2008 at a Modesto, Calif., hospital. The group has a number of ongoing sustainable initiatives, and states goals to save more than $10 million per year in energy costs, construct 6.7 million square-feet of sustainably designed building space, and eliminate the purchase and disposal of 40 tons of harmful chemicals.
Last May, Kaiser Permanente unveiled its Sustainability Scorecard that requires suppliers to provide environmental data for medical equipment and products used in its hospitals, medical offices and other facilities.