Kaiser Permanente will receive 20 of Bloom Energy 200 kW solid oxide fuel-cell servers, for a total of 4 MW. The fuel cells run on natural gas, and can also run on 100 percent directed biogas, a methane gas produced from landfills and manure.
Bloom Energy will install the servers through its Bloom Electrons service, under which it owns and operates the Bloom Boxes, and will sell the energy to Kaiser while supplying the local natural gas transmission networks with biogas to offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Kaiser expects the Bloom Boxes to reduce each building’s use of fossil fuels for electricity by 34 percent.
“These fuel-cell agreements are a major step toward our goal of including a wide array of sustainable sources in our energy portfolio,” said Don Orndoff, senior vice president of national facilities services at Kaiser Permanente.
Last year, the insurer announced it would deploy 15 MW of solar power at 15 facilities across California by the end of 2011, and earlier this month it turned on the first of these systems.
The company said its future energy sources could include thermal and wind energy.
Bloom customers include Bank of America, Coca-Cola, E-Bay, FedEx, Google, Staples, Walmart and, recently, insurance company Fireman’s Fund.
Bloom says its boxes help customers cut their CO2 emissions by 40 to 100 percent compared to the U.S. grid and eliminate almost all SOx and NOx emissions while locking in low energy prices on a long-term basis.