Kaiser Permanente recently announced that it has a made a new power-purchase agreement (PPA) for 181 megawatts of solar and wind power being built by NextEra Energy Resources, which will allow it to become carbon neutral in 2020. The non-profit health organization said it’s making the move in part to help insure the health of its consumers.
“Climate change is here. We are seeing the effects of it in devastating wildfires, hurricanes and droughts already impacting people’s lives,” said Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson.
The organization said that climate change is impacting people’s health, increasing rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments, the spread of infectious diseases, heat-related illnesses and injuries.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we understand that one of the most effective ways to protect the health of the more than 68 million people in the communities we serve is by ensuring healthy environmental conditions. By investing in renewable energy and becoming carbon neutral, Kaiser Permanente is helping to prevent climate-related illness for people worldwide,” Tyson said.
Kaiser previously announced that it would achieve carbon neutrality in 2016, but the PPA will allow it to achieve the goal. In all, the agreement will support NextEra’s construction of 131 megawatts of solar power, 50 MWs of wind power and 110 megawatts of energy storage capacity.
The PPA, which makes Kaiser the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the healthcare sector, will provide enough energy to power 27 of its 39 hospitals and builds on its previous efforts to reduce its impact on climate change. The company already has reduced its emissions 29 percent since 2008 while increasing membership by 36 percent. Since 2013 it also reduced its water use by 12 percent per square foot of building space.
The organization has made other commitments to reduce its impact including hosting a renewable-energy powered microgrid and opening a LEED Platinum hospital in California. It’s also issued $1 billion in green bonds to fund LEED building projects and its joined RE100, California Healthcare Climate Alliance, Ceres Connect the Drops and other climate leadership initiatives. It’s also been active in advocating to fight climate change.
The new NextEra projects will supply energy in to Kaiser’s operations in California. The solar farm and energy storage system will be located in California, while the wind project will be built in Arizona.Tweet