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Kaiser Permanente first S.D. hospital to go live with solar power

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Kaiser Permanente San Diego went live with solar power on Jan. 20, becoming San Diego County's first hospital to receive a significant amount of its energy from the sun.

"Kaiser Permanente has a long history of energy conservation and environmental stewardship, and our use of solar and other forms of renewable energy further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving the overall health and well-being of San Diegans and the Grantville community," said Mary Ann Barnes, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center.

Kaiser Permanente agreed in 2010 to install solar power systems at 15 of its California facilities -- deploying a total 15 megawatts of solar energy -- by the end of 2011. The 4,958 photovoltaic solar panels at the San Diego Medical Center will produce a quarter of the hospital's annual power supply -- or enough to provide electricity for 1000 homes for one year. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente's medical office building in La Mesa went live with 4,926 solar panels over its parking structure. The La Mesa System is designed for 1 megawatt of electrical power which accounts for 75 percent of its annual usage.

Installing solar panels on Kaiser Permanente hospitals, medical offices and other buildings is the first step in a comprehensive plan to use onsite renewable energy sources to power Kaiser Permanente's buildings nationwide. A focus on renewable energy sources is just one aspect of the organization's industry-leading work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, and promote sustainable food choices.

Kaiser Permanente's investment in solar power will reduce the organization's reliance on the public power grid and help it diversify its energy sources. The 15 megawatts of solar power will produce an average of 10 percent of the electricity at each of the facilities, which also include the Vallejo Medical Center in Northern California, and medical offices in Lancaster and La Mesa. This is enough to provide electricity for about 15,000 homes a year.

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