Kaiser Permanente says it will purchase enough renewable energy to provide half of the electricity it uses in California and reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions nationwide by 30%.
Through a 20-year contract with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, Kaiser Permanente will purchase electricity from the 110 MW Blythe solar energy plant in Riverside County, Calif., as well as the output from 43 MW of wind power from new turbines at the Golden Hills wind farm on the Altamont Pass in Alameda County, Calif.
In a separate agreement, Kaiser Permanente agreed to purchase as much as 70 MW of on-site solar production from NRG Energy Inc. The company is looking to add rooftop and ground-mounted solar arrays to as many as 170 of its hospitals and other campuses in California. NRG will finance, build, own and operate the photovoltaic systems and sell the power to Kaiser Permanente at a fixed cost under a 20-year contract.
‘The energy we use to run our medical centers and other buildings produces the majority of our greenhouse-gas emissions,’ says Rame Hemstreet, Kaiser Permanente's chief energy officer. ‘Replacing fossil fuels as an energy source with green power is the most important action we can take to address the impacts of climate change on health and to reduce pollutants that can lead to disease.’