NEW LONDON – Throughout its 110-year history, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital (L+M) has demonstrated its commitment to providing the greatest of care to its patients and the community. Now, the hospital is extending that care to the environment with the installation of a fuel cell microgrid that will reduce emissions and the hospital’s utility bill.
L+M is the first hospital in the Yale New Haven Health system to install an alternate energy source on the hospital campus. As a result of the project, L+M anticipates more than $9 million in savings over the 20 year contract period.
The fuel cell project supports the larger critical power upgrade project underway as part of the hospital’s Emergency Department renovation. The power project will provide redundancy in back-up power as well as overall campus sustainability. Although back-up generators remain the first line of defense during a power outage, fuel cells provide continuous power to ensure critical infrastructure remains up and running at all times.
L+M, in partnership with Bloom Energy, will install fuel cells totaling 1.75 megawatts. Construction on this project began in early spring and is expected to be operational this summer. In the meantime, there will underground construction work along Ocean Avenue to Faire Harbour Place as the fuel cells are connected to the hospital’s main power plant.
“It is important that we support the health of our environment through actions that support sustainability efforts. By making this investment we are demonstrating the importance of being good stewards of the environment,” said Denise J. Fiore, senior vice president and chief operating officer.
The fuel cells generate clean, reliable energy on-site by converting abundant natural gas to electricity without combustion. In one year, the fuel cells are expected to prevent the emission of more than 7,935 pounds of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant that causes smog, as well as offsetting the emission of more than 3,537 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The fuel cells will also reduce the hospitals’ CO2 emission by 23 percent and its water consumption by 273 million gallons.
The emissions, air pollutants and water reductions are equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 336 passenger cars driven for one year, CO2 emissions from 176,924 gallons of gasoline consumed and carbon sequestered by 1,846 acres of forest in one year.
“Through this project we have a unique opportunity to not only improve hospital operations, but also to improve the environmental health of New London,” said Robert Palumberi, L+M facilities administrative director. “We’re proud and excited to be part of the state of Connecticut’s solution to meet goals for clean and renewable energy.”
Read the most up to date Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry news at FuelCellsWorks