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I4 – Evolution of Microgrid and Battery Storage to Produce Reliable Power More Efficiently

Music Row 4

Hospitals and health care facilities are essential to the communities they serve and therefore must be reliable and operational to perform critical functions. Energy system failures pose too significant a risk to healthcare facilities and the patient’s they serve. Thus, the healthcare systems are integrating microgrid and battery storage technologies to help deliver uninterrupted service to patients and avoid lost revenue associated with grid outages. In addition, these technologies have evolved to include demand management optimizing energy usage and producing cost savings. Health care systems can meet their energy reduction goals by pairing these technologies with targeted energy efficient initiatives within healthcare facilities. This roundtable, moderated by Nate Allen of DOE, will facilitate an interactive conversation around how Better Buildings partners Montefiore Medical Center, Welltower, and Kaiser Permanente have integrated these technologies at their hospitals and medical office buildings.

Nate Allen will lead with a brief introduction of each panelist. Following, each panelist will provide a brief overview with supporting slides demonstrating adoption of these technologies and supporting and the benefits.

Grace Whitney the Energy and Sustainability Manager at Montefiore Medical Center will discuss their involvement in the New York Prize state-level initiative, a first-in-the-nation competition that helps communities create microgrids. One of the awarded projects includes the East Bronx district energy system microgrid that will provide heat and power to four facilities, including Montefiore’s Weiler Hospital. In the initial stage, Montefiore’s consulting agency Gotham 360 used the grant to develop a feasibility study. In the second stage, Gotham 360 partnered with Enwave to lead a team to design the system. The proposed microgrid will mitigate the risk of single generators failing during prolonged outages through combined heat and power, solar, battery systems, steam turbine generators, and heat recovery steam generators as well as leveraging existing steam generation plants. This design will give the facilities the ability to operate as usual during an outage, enabling uninterrupted service and care.

Grace will also touch on the energy efficient operational strategies in place at Weiler Hospital that led to 28 percent energy savings since 2013. As a Better Buildings Challenge partner, Montefiore has committed to reduce its portfolio energy use by 20percent by 2023. Grace will expand on Montefiore’s progress towards this goal that has included a multitude of projects including employee education, energy efficient lighting, load shedding, and a very aggressive preventative maintenance program on all major mechanical systems across the network.

Next, Arnulfo Murrietta, the Manager of Capital Planning & Engineering at Welltower and Shea Jameel, Welltower’s Sustainability Manager, will explain how they are increasing levels of operating efficiency, reducing costs, and identifying areas for improvements across their medical office building portfolio. First, the two will discuss their Santa Anita medical office pilot project with STEM, a company that provides a no upfront cost artificial-intelligent battery storage technology that efficiently manages energy demand automatically through predictive energy analytics. Through STEM’s cloud-based energy intelligence platform, Welltower also gains real-time insight into their medical office building’s energy use enabling their ability to assess opportunities in energy efficiency at the facility.

Lastly, Gary Mullaney, Senior Energy Consultant at Kaiser Permanente, will share how the organization coordinated the first microgrid in California that connects renewable energy to a hospital’s pre-existing diesel-fueled, back-up power system. The Richmond Medical Center microgrid combines a 250-kW solar PV-parking lot canopy; a 1-MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system; an existing, on-site heat and power system and real-time analytics linked to the high-performance data center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. The microgrid can operate in “island mode,” automatically disconnecting from the utility grid and supplying power for critical hospital needs for three hours or longer. Not only does the system enhance reliability, but it also has the potential to reduce the hospital’s energy bills by as much as 50 percent.

Following each speaker’s brief overview, Nate Allen will facilitate a Q&A to prompt further details about the successes and challenges associated with each of these projects and each panelist’s outlook on future integration of these technologies across their portfolios. The audience will be encouraged to join in an interactive open discussion. The audience will leave the session understanding the value of implementing these technologies and initiatives within their own health care systems.

Energy Resilience