Kaiser signs power contracts for 131 MW of solar, 110 MW of batteries


For big corporations, branding is everything. Companies are increasingly jealous of their reputation and the perceptions of their customers. This is particularly true of the U.S. healthcare sector, which is under public pressure given that U.S. medical expenditures are uniquely high globally and that many citizens struggle with health expenses and even access to healthcare.

For healthcare companies, like other corporations, renewable energy represents a double bottom line. They can often get power for less from renewables, while projecting an image of caring about their customers and the planet.

Yesterday Kaiser Permanente took a step to put it a leadership position in the U.S. healthcare industry, by finalizing power purchase agreements with a series of solar, wind and battery projects in Southern California and Arizona.

NextEra Energy will build and operate these projects, which total 180 MW of renewable energy and 110 MW of energy storage. Individual projects include a combined 131 MW solar and 110 MW of batteries in Southern California’s Riverside County, as well as a 50 MW wind farm in Arizona. All of these are scheduled to come online in 2020 and 2021, although Kaiser Permanente will begin receiving associated renewable energy credits in 2019.

The healthcare giant says that this will enable it to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2020, as well as becoming the largest user of renewable energy in the U.S. healthcare sector, consuming an estimate 1 terawatt-hour of electricity from renewable energy annually.

Kaiser Permanente is also the leading sponsor of the Global Climate Action Summit in the healthcare industry. The event will begin tomorrow in San Francisco.

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