A children’s hospital in California has announced plans to replace its diesel generators with clean energy sources while maintaining its uninterrupted power supply.
Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, will use money from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), which announced that it will distribute $325 million in funding for 15 long-duration energy storage projects via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The Valley Children’s Hospital project — or the Children’s Hospital Resilient Grid with Energy Storage (CHARGES) — is one of those lucky recipients. CHARGES will be co-funded by the California Energy Commission.
CHARGES will “accomplish two strategic priorities,” according to the hospital. “[It will] build energy resiliency for hospital campus operations and to drive efforts for improved air quality in the region.”
According to the DOE, Valley Children’s Hospital was selected because it is located in an underserved community and is also at heightened risk for power outages due to human-caused climate disasters, such as fires, storm surges, floods, extreme heat, and earthquakes.
The microgrid system designed by Redflow and Faraday is meant to ensure at least 18 hours of continued functionality following an earthquake or other natural disaster.
The project is expected to be operational in 2025. The hospital says it hopes to reduce planet-warming pollution by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon pollution by 2050.
“It is our duty to make sure we do everything within our ability to ensure that children have a healthy place to grow,” Dr. Carmela Sosa-Unguez, complex care pediatrician and director of the Valley Children’s Guilds Center for Community Health, said in a press release. “By making these changes, we are helping contribute to cleaner air and to healthier environments. This is not going to be solved by one person or one organization, though. It will take all of us working together and every little bit helps.”
In addition to the hospital project, Redflow and Faraday have also received funding from the California Energy Commission to create a large-scale solar energy and storage project for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.
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