Massachusetts health care system - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement, Solar  -  April 4, 2017

Massachusetts health care system enters 2nd phase of 10-year energy performance contract

The University Campus UMass Memorial Medical Center, photo provided by Siemens. 

UMass Memorial Health Care has embarked on phase two of a 10-year energy performance contract that is expanding beyond energy efficiency to also focus on renewable energy planning, including the use of solar net metering. 

UMass Memorial, which is the largest health care system in central Massachusetts and the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, partnered with Siemens on the contract. According to an April 3 news release, the contract was created in alignment with the health care system's master energy plan to reduce consumption and energy purchasing costs while also maximizing the use of renewable energy. 

UMass Memorial is expected to save almost 2 million kilowatt hours of electric energy in the project's first year, and over the course of the 10-year contract, it is anticipated to generate $5 million in energy savings and operational cost savings, according to the release. When combined with the phase one contract with Siemens and other efforts, it is anticipated that the facility will generate total savings in energy and operational costs of approximately $24 million over the next 10 years.

UMass Memorial and Siemens said they have developed a multidimensional approach to achieving the health care organization's objectives, including short- and long-term projects that will maximize UMass Memorial's return on investment.

The first phase of the project included lighting upgrades in hallways, corridors, and stairwells, followed by upgrades to the administrative, physician and patient spaces in the second phase. To review the effectiveness of equipment, examine demand changes, and make recommendations for improvements or upgrades, a Siemens energy engineer is based onsite and embedded within UMass Memorial's facilities team.

"The goal is to establish a program that can be sustained for decades," Gary Valcourt, associate vice president of facilities and capital planning for UMass Memorial said in a statement. "As we update our patient and operating rooms, we know energy consumption patterns will change, but we're relying on our partnership with Siemens to help build resiliency into our facility."

The project will also expand to focus on renewable energy planning that includes solar net metering, a process that allows UMass Memorial to use solar power generated at offsite, third-party facilities. When fully implemented in the future, the solar net metering program is expected to include 12 contracts, portable between buildings over the next two decades, allowing UMass Memorial to maximize its use of solar energy. UMass Memorial also plans to build a cogeneration plant, which will capture heat created within the Medical Center and repurpose it to generate electricity for the facility.

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