Harborview Medical Center in Seattle is installing a nearly 100-kW solar array on the roof of the West Hospital building. The solar array will be the largest on any hospital in the state of Washington and will help offset the energy costs of the medical center. McKinstry, a design-build firm focused on energy-based retrofits, will manage the entire project.
“Harborview is committed to sustainability in our operations,” said Pam Jorgensen, Assistant Administrator of Facilities and Engineering. “This solar project will help us meet our carbon reduction goals, create redundant power for the West Hospital in case of an emergency, and demonstrate the feasibility of solar power on healthcare facilities.”
In addition to the solar installation, the building’s roof is being replaced, including additional insulation to reduce the heating and cooling needs of the building. Coordinating the installation of solar supports with the roofing retrofit was more cost effective than doing the two projects in different years.
Grants from Seattle City Light’s Green Up program and the Department of Commerce helped fund the project. Seattle City Light’s Green Up program, which provides funding for local renewable energy programs and projects, awarded Harborview $50,000. The Department of Commerce’s Energy Efficiency Grant Program helps state and local agencies pay for energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations, and awarded Harborview an additional $47,000.
Harborview and McKinstry have worked together for more than eight years to reduce energy costs and increase the reliability of the hospital’s infrastructure. Projects have included lighting upgrades, fan replacements, and heating and cooling upgrades, among others. Cumulatively, these projects are saving Harborview over $500,000 annually and reducing the medical center’s carbon footprint by 155,394 pounds of CO2, equivalent to 232,110 miles not driven.
Harborview has been nationally recognized for their environmental commitment. In 2016, Harborview Medical Center was named one of the 50 Greenest Hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review, and that same year received a Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth.
“Harborview Medical Center takes a long-term, systems perspective on their facilities,” said Justin Fallstrom, McKinstry operations director for the Pacific Northwest. “Every decision about their facility always comes down to the patients: patient health, patient safety and the ability for Harborview to continue to provide world-class care to all who walk through their doors.”
The solar installation is slated to be complete in December of 2017. The solar array will be installed by A&R Solar, a Washington-based solar installation company.
News item from McKinstry