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HomeRenewablesCI Renewables to add solar carports to Maryland hospital system

CI Renewables to add solar carports to Maryland hospital system

Taking another step toward increasing its renewable energy portfolio and being a ‘greener’ company, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) announced it is engaging in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to design, install and maintain solar energy parking lot canopies at three of its corporate locations. The project, which includes two corporate office buildings in Linthicum, is expected to generate 27,000,000 kWh of energy and generate more than $12 million in savings in electricity and parking lot maintenance costs over a period of 10 years.

The state of Maryland has established legislation requiring companies to have a 20% reduction in direct greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. With the implementation of this solar canopy project and the system’s previous adoption of no- and low-carbon renewable energy sources, UMMS will move to using 48% renewable energy.

“We have been very intentional in our ‘green’ efforts across the system, and this marks a significant milestone in our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of UMMS. “At the core of our mission as an anchor institution lies a profound commitment to foster a healthier environment for Maryland and beyond. Looking ahead, we plan to continue investing smartly in sustainable energy projects and exploring innovative ways to further reduce our carbon footprint.”

Groundbreaking on the solar canopy project is expected in fall 2024 and energy production is expected to begin in mid-2026. The two office buildings are located at 900 and 920 Elkridge Landing Road in Linthicum, and the third canopy will be built at the system’s data center. UMMS is partnering with CI Renewables on the PPA for this project, which includes design, land development, financing, construction, commissioning and operation of the solar canopy system. The project is expected to generate more than 100 direct and indirect construction jobs and will have a minority business participation of 25%.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Maryland Medical System. The benefits from their commitment to a more sustainable future will materialize in these solar projects and spill into the communities where UMMS operates,” said Luke Smith, VP of CI Renewables.

Across the state, UMMS has embraced renewable energy solutions, including solar projects. Approximately 35% of energy used by the system is being produced by no- or low-carbon technologies: UMMS operates a solar farm in Somerset County on the Eastern Shore which has been generating 2% of UMMS power for 10 years; maintains a hydroelectric arrangement that produces 25% of power needed, and runs on-site cogeneration plants at the system’s hospitals in Bel Air, Glen Burnie, Largo and Towson, which in total generate 8%. In June 2024, another solar farm will come online in Somerset County and a fifth cogeneration plant is expected to become operational in 2025, increasing the total to nearly 50%.

“As we approach Earth Day next week, it’s important to recognize that UMMS is dedicated to a number of sustainability initiatives across our facilities which contribute to energy savings and promotes a more sustainable energy portfolio,” said Richie Stever, VP of real estate and construction for UMMS.

The system has adopted various waste management strategies aimed at reducing its environmental impact such as replacing paper towels with hand dryers and utilizing washable linens and reusable items, implementing cardboard take-back programs for suppliers, prioritizing ‘green’ purchasing practices to reduce its environmental footprint by sourcing products with minimal packaging, increasing recycled content, and avoiding chemicals of concern. Additionally, UMMS has made significant strides in energy efficiency by diversifying its energy sources through investments in renewable energy projects such as energy-efficient equipment upgrades, energy treasure hunts, installing variable frequency drives to optimize energy consumption, implementing heat recovery systems, LED lighting upgrades and installing occupancy sensors for lights in all newly constructed facilities. Water conservation is another key focus area for UMMS, which has implemented rainwater harvesting systems and water bottle-filling stations to conserve water and reduce landfill use across its facilities.

Patients and visitors at UMMS hospitals will notice sustainability initiatives through visible changes in infrastructure and operations, such as energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs and water conservation measures. The system has integrated sustainability into patient care by using eco-friendly materials and products, avoiding using Styrofoam, and ensuring no fragrances are used in patient care areas.

News item from the University of Maryland Medical System

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