08 Jul Clean Energy Adds Stability to Healthcare’s Power Grid Infrastructure
Budget and environmentally-conscious organizations can receive tremendous benefits from sustainable operations and green facilities. Healthcare facilities are types of buildings that fall into the high power user category as hospitals and medical clinics often use twice as much power as other industries. Equipment has to be on constant standby and is often costly to maintain. Many of this equipment are life-saving and must be on 24/7.
Solar panels are durable and low-maintenance. They also allow for flexible configurations of any rooftop, of which hospitals have prime real estate on. The sun is a free and renewable source of energy, and installing solar would reduce carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change. Hospitals and private clinics can also invest in solar canopies, which can supply power to the hospital itself, as well as for EV (electrical vehicle) charging stations for patients and employees alike.
Oftentimes, a healthcare organization is not limited to one building or entity, but rather, represents many facets of the corporation as a whole. Clean energy such as solar can help reduce electricity costs significantly as healthcare facilities are large consumers of power. Annual operating costs could be minimized, and the cost savings could fund other areas of the organization.
Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, in particular, can benefit greatly from solar. Generally, these hospitals operate on limited budgets funded by the government, through discretionary resources and mandatory funding. Not only will energy costs be reduced, but VA hospitals will enable the federal government to meet renewable energy mandates.
Solar provides for a much steadier rate in pricing, as opposed to fossil fuels, where price fluctuations and market disruptions are common. The payback period is also well within the range for hospitals to meet.
Reliability and Security
Hospitals are becoming increasingly concerned with power reliability by relying less on the grid as their primary source of power. The grid is subject to the havoc of natural disasters and can cripple a hospital from performing critical elements/functionality. Solar can provide a reliable source of power and meet the daily energy needs of any hospital or clinic.
Security is another major area of concern for hospitals as they deal with a lot of highly confidential patient information. Loss of power and disturbances in power distribution can damage expensive and highly sensitive equipment and interfere with hospital functions. Together with battery storage and generators to provide absolute coverage in the event of natural disasters, interruptions, and failures, solar can be a powerful alternative to the grid.
Local Hospitals on the Rise
In collaboration with the Nevada Cancer Institute Foundation, a new medical school will open in the fall of 2017 to be located in Summerlin, near Town Center Drive and Interstate 215. Also, local hospitals such as Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, are expanding with new locations in the Valley to better serve patients and provide a neighborhood feel. More locations enable hospitals to reduce emergency room burdens, provide shorter wait times for patients, allow staff to provide better quality care, and enrich the overall healthcare experience.
MountainView Hospital, a part of the Hospital Corporation of America, is planning an expansion project that will add more beds to its current 340 beds, larger helipad, and an auditorium for lectures, continuing education, and other engagements. The new developments will require increase in power consumption. As healthcare organizations are focusing more on population health, solar is recognized as one way to combat high energy costs and reducing the use of fossil fuels that contribute to health problems.
Also, it has been shown that hospitals that install solar encourage other businesses to follow suit, as a way of leading by example. Hospitals have always been looked at as a mainstay of wellness and people will look more favorably toward hospitals that promote green initiatives to ensure the well-being of patients. If your healthcare organization is interested in the benefits of going solar, please contact Sol-Up to help you get started.