In early 2018 Sutter Health of California began an initiative to install on-site PV at six campuses as part of a pilot project intended to select a solar developer for their wider portfolio. This initiative was launched in an effort to meet Sutter Health’s emissions reduction goals by increasing the amount of renewable energy at their campuses. Though the organization initially launched a more traditional approach to selecting a solar partner through a bid process in 2015, that effort was put on hold for a number of reasons. The program started again in 2017 and was challenged by Sutter Health’s leadership to come up with a process that would result in selecting the best solar developer for aligning to the organization’s culture and geography. This requirement was partially influenced by an on-site PV installation from several years ago where the deal that was negotiated resulted in a PPA rate currently higher than the utility rate. Sutter Health also received invaluable assistance from Kaiser Permanente, a competitor in the market, which shared their lessons learned and scoping documents from their multi-site solar program which was integrated into Sutter Health’s evaluation and selection process. This approach allowed Sutter Health to compare all aspects of the solar developers’ performance from bidding to flipping the switch and resulted in the selection of a solar partner they were confident in.
While this was going on in California, on the other side of the coast in New York, Rochester Regional Health’s own process took their organization to deploy a variety of renewable energies. Their journey led them to understand the advantages of different renewable technologies, building a system on-site vs. off-site, the types of grants and incentives that are available, and several financing options that will enable other hospitals to think about what steps similar organizations might be able to take in the renewable energy world. Rochester Regional Health also has a handout worksheet available to share to quickly calculate how much solar/wind power is needed to supply 100% of the electricity for an organization, what that might translate to in land space, the capital cost for that project, where one can quickly access incentive information for the respective area, and also the potential rate for that power allowing a comparison to current rates.
Come join Tom Cooper and Wayne Bader of Sutter Health along with Mike Waller of Rochester Regional Health to dive deeper into renewable energy.