Kaiser Permanente Embraces Renewable Microgrids

Health care provider Kaiser Permanente which was founded in 1945, has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and today it is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans

It is on a mission to slash its carbon emissions on the road to full carbon neutrality by 2020, and is making headway on slashing the half of its footprint that comes from its electricity usage.

Kaiser has photovoltaic solar installations on nearly 50 of its buildings today, with plans that could see that number doubling in just the next two years. It is looking beyond solar into energy storage, buffeted by the falling prices of stationary energy storage, resulting in a new push to add energy storage to its existing and new solar installations.

To explore the potential of a full-blown renewable facility, Kaiser went all-out at its Richmond, California facility, where it supplemented a 250kW photovoltaic solar installation with a 1 megawatt battery that can keep the hospital’s systems up and running for 3 hours in the event of a power outage.

On the savings side of the equation, the photovoltaic solar installation at Richmond is expected to produce 365,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is worth $54,750, but the bulk of the savings come from the battery. The battery is expected to deliver just north of $430,000 in the form of power efficiency, demand reduction, and arbitrage of power.

In addition to the firm numbers, the team believes there is potential to save somewhere in the range of $40,000-80,000 per year through automated demand response.

Kaiser’s push into renewables and microgrid technologies is admirable and shows how a progressive company can successfully blend its financial goals, environmental progress and even its ability to respond to grid outages and disasters more effectively.


Reference- Kaiser Permanente website, Cleantechnica