The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) board of directors unanimously approved financing and a purchase agreement for cogeneration energy equipment at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, California.
Estimated to cost $18 million to install, the hospital’s cogeneration project is projected to save millions of dollars in energy costs and provide a reliable source for up to 95% of the hospital’s electricity needs, according to GHD officials.
Cogeneration burns natural gas through a turbine generator creating electricity. The heat from the generator is converted to steam, which also is used to power equipment, including air conditioning. In addition to energy efficiency, the hospital’s cogeneration equipment will reduce energy costs and the hospital’s emissions of harmful greenhouse gas pollutants by 90%.
The hospital’s cogeneration equipment will feature emergency generators, chillers powered by both steam and electricity, a heat recovery steam generator, related cooling towers, boilers, and medical gas equipment.
Installation of the cogeneration equipment is expected to begin in July as construction proceeds on a new 18,000-square-foot central energy plant (CEP) with equipment that will help meet all future energy needs of the hospital.
The cogeneration equipment will be part of the CEP building to be located in a southeastern portion of the hospital property where a parking lot previously existed. McCarthy Building Companies was recently awarded a $34 million contract for the project.
The CEP is one of several hospital improvement projects being financed with a $247 million bond measure called Proposition G that East County voters approved in 2006. However, the cost for the new cogeneration equipment is not part of the Prop. G-funded construction.
Rather, the district is borrowing $18 million to add the cogeneration equipment to the CEP.