JACKSON, Calif., May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sutter Amador Hospital "flipped the switch" Friday on an on-site solar generating system that will provide more than half of the electrical power needs for the medical campus. The solar power purchase agreement project, otherwise known as a PPA, is part of Sutter Health's ongoing efforts to provide a cleaner energy source at its hospitals and medical office buildings, demonstrating the Northern California healthcare network's commitment to environmental stewardship.
ENGIE Services U.S. installed 1.58 megawatts (MW) of solar power on parking structures and rooftops at Sutter Amador Hospital. The solar power system will generate 2.4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean, renewable power per year, reducing the Hospital's carbon footprint while positively impacting Sutter's core mission to provide excellence in patient care.
As a result of the new solar installations, Sutter Amador Hospital is expected to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 1,762 metric tons annually, the equivalent of removing 374 cars from the road or reducing the use of more than 190,000 gallons of gasoline each year. The 2.4 million kWh of clean energy produced is the equivalent of powering 211 homes for a year.
"Sutter Health and Sutter Amador Hospital have been looking for ways to continue our mission of superior health services to the community while at the same time contributing to a healthier environment," said Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer and executive sponsor of Sutter Health's environmental stewardship program. "The main reason for bringing this sustainable energy source to the Sutter Amador Hospital campus and other locations is to reduce our carbon footprint in the communities that we serve. Now it will be Earth Day every day here at Sutter Amador Hospital."
The Sutter Amador Hospital solar project is the second of six Sutter Health locations throughout Northern California that are part of a pilot program in the network's ongoing efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels for power generation.
"Sutter Amador Hospital is proud to be a model hospital by generating more than half of its electricity by using this renewable, clean energy source," said Sutter Amador Hospital CEO Tom Dickson. "With our new solar program, Sutter Amador Hospital has accomplished using energy generated by the sun – a renewable source – while at the same time reducing harmful emissions and improving on-site energy resiliency and independence. It's a win-win for everyone."
The energy savings created from the solar installations will be redirected to resources that directly impact patient care and other mission-critical needs at Sutter Amador Hospital, Dr. Lockhart says. Sutter Health has also locked in a favorable rate for 20 years, hedging against the risk of fluctuating energy prices in the future, assisting in Sutter's mission to provide quality healthcare at affordable prices.
In addition, the new parking canopy systems that provide clean energy to Sutter Health's vital healthcare operations will also provide shaded parking for hospital vehicles, staff vehicles and the general public. This will save in maintenance costs for facility transportation and reduce the use of automobile air conditioning.
Sutter Amador Hospital Chief Nursing Executive Melody Montgomery shared during the "Flip the Switch" event Friday that as she watched the solar system being constructed and started paying attention to solar arrays at other facilities, "It was easy to see the positive impact happening as our system was built – I thought, these structures are going up well here. They are strong, and they represent the courage of making a decision like this to provide clean energy with lasting impacts for the community across Sutter Amador Hospital – from patients to staff and visitors," she said.
Montgomery said the solar generating system has added to the hospital's attractiveness. "It really has enhanced it," she said, "and it has really brought to light Sutter Health's focus on the community and the environment."
ENGIE completed construction on the solar arrays on parking structures and rooftops in just six months. The firm's ongoing commitment includes operations and maintenance services, ensuring the solar systems are always operating at peak performance. Over the life of the system, ENGIE will provide routine panel washing, as well as monitoring and resolving any production issues that would ever impede the system from achieving maximum performance.
"Our ongoing relationship with Sutter Health allows ENGIE to bring best-in-class energy technology innovations that set the bar for meaningful sustainability initiatives within the healthcare sector, with Sutter leading the charge in this arena," said ENGIE Chief Operating Officer John Rohde. "The positive environmental outcomes and savings goals met through our work with Sutter will have a direct, positive impact on hospital operations and patient services."
Sutter Amador Hospital serves a population of 40,000 with 52 licensed beds, providing 24-hour emergency care, critical care, a family birth center, surgery and laboratory services in Amador, Calaveras and neighboring counties. In partnership with ENGIE, Sutter Amador Hospital is one of the first locations in the Sutter Health network to install solar through a power purchase agreement (PPA) financing structure.
About Sutter Health: Sutter Health is more than 60,000 people strong thanks to its integrated network of physicians, employees and volunteers. Rooted in Sutter Health's not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care that feels personal. From physician offices to hospitals to outpatient care centers and home services, they proudly support the more than 3 million people in their care—nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population, in one of the most diverse and innovative regions in the world. Sutter team members adopt new technologies, make novel discoveries and embrace creative thinking to help patients and communities achieve their best health. From its street nurse program that provides check-ups for homeless people, to telemedicine-aided specialist consultations, to walk-in care clinics, to smart glass technology, the Sutter Health team goes beyond traditional models to make care more convenient and to nurture and empower people throughout their medical journey.
About ENGIE Services U.S.:ENGIE Services U.S., a division of ENGIE, the #1 energy services provider in the world, is a national energy infrastructure and building services company that helps education, government, commercial and industrial customers become more efficient, productive and sustainable. Over the past 40 years, we have partnered with thousands of customers to generate more than $2.7 billion in savings, while also improving facility performance. For more information, please visit https://engieservices.us or contact Lani Wild, Communications Manager, at 415-735-9080.
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