OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit integrated health care system, has finalized an agreement for a major renewable energy purchase that will let it achieve a goal of being carbon neutral in 2020. With this announcement, Kaiser Permanente, the leading health care sponsor of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, is realizing its commitment to improving the health of individuals and communities by addressing climate change.
Kaiser Permanente’s power purchase agreement for 180 MW of clean energy — enough to power 27 of its 39 hospitals — will enable the construction of utility-scale solar and wind farms, and one of the country’s largest battery-energy storage systems. The agreement is part of a comprehensive portfolio of renewable energy solutions and greenhouse gas reduction strategies that together are supporting Kaiser Permanente’s clean energy future.
“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 J. Tyson. “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 will deliver remarks during the opening plenary of the Global Climate Action Summit on Thursday, Sept. 13.
Kaiser Permanente is an internationally recognized leader in sustainability that is addressing the intersection of climate and health. Increased rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments, the spread of infectious diseases, heat-related illnesses and injuries from severe weather events and wildfires are some of the recognized health impacts of climate change.
Environmental stewardship has been an important part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to community health for the past two decades. In 2016 the organization announced an ambitious goal to become carbon neutral in 2020, along with several other bold goals to reduce its climate impact. Among the milestones met to date:
- Achieved a 29 percent reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, while increasing our membership by 36 percent
- Reduced water usage by 12 percent per square foot of building space since 2013
- Opened California’s first LEED Platinum hospital, the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, in April 2017
- Hosted California’s first hospital-based renewable microgrid at the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center
- Issued $1 billion in Green Bonds to fund LEED Platinum and Gold building projects
- Joined RE100, California Healthcare Climate Alliance, Ceres Connect the Drops and other climate leadership initiatives
Kaiser Permanente has finalized a 180-MW power purchase agreement that will enable construction of utility-scale renewable wind and solar farms, and a large battery storage system:
- Wind farm generation: 50 MW
- Solar farm generation: 131 MW
- Battery storage capacity: 110 MW
180 MW is equivalent to the amount of electricity it takes to power 27 of our 39 hospitals year-round.
This agreement will make Kaiser Permanente the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. health care sector, using more than 1 million MWh of green power annually.
The project is being built and will be operated by NextEra Energy Resources.
Location: The solar farm and battery storage will be located in eastern Riverside County; the wind farm will be located across the border in Arizona, though the power transmission will be delivered directly to the California grid.
Estimated completion date: Kaiser Permanente will begin receiving associated renewable energy credits in 2019; the projects will come online in 2020 and 2021.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.