Kaiser Permanente Gets Solar With Massive Installation Program

In what’s being called one of the largest sustainable energy programs in U.S. health care, Kaiser Permanente has recently announced they’ll be partnering with San Francisco-based Recurrent Energy to integrate a single megawatt solar system into the rooftops of fifteen different hospital buildings across the state of California by the summer of 2011.

The new solar facilities are expected to supply an average of ten percent of the energy currently used by the not-for-profit-health plan and hospital system’s buildings, located in Vallejo, Santa Clara, Fontana and San Diego medical centers, equivalent to the electricity used by about 1,900 homes a year. Citigroup helped to provide equity investment for the project; Recurrent Energy will own and operate all of the solar power systems.

Kaiser_Recurrent_Solar

image via Kaiser Permanente

“What’s good for the environment is good for our health,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente, in a statement. “By expanding the use of solar power, Kaiser Permanente is demonstrating its commitment to greening its energy portfolio and reducing its carbon footprint. Harnessing renewable energy to power the care we provide reflects our dedication to improving the health of our members and the communities we serve.” This appears to be the first step in a larger green plan for Kaiser nationwide that includes on-site renewable energy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction in the use of harmful chemicals and the promotion of sustainable food choices.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.