Albert Einstein Healthcare Network Goes Green with Local, Fixed-Priced Wind Power
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February 24, 2009
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A group of prominent health care institutions in the Philadelphia area today announced a ground-breaking joint power purchase from Pennsylvania's largest wind power project. The transaction by the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, announced in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson University, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc., Main Line Health System, Frankford Hospitals and Magee Rehabilitation, is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, and will meet approximately 35% of the anticipated aggregate electricity consumption for 10 years. Iberdrola Renewables will sell the electricity to the health care group from the Locust Ridge II wind power project in Schuylkill and Columbia counties.
"Our dedication to the quality of healthcare services is the foundation of a healthy community, so this commitment to clean wind power is just another way we are working to ensure a strong future for our patients and the Delaware Valley," said Barry R. Freedman, President & CEO of Albert Einstein Healthcare Network. "This purchase makes sense from an environmental perspective, but also helps our bottom line."
The 102 megawatt (MW) Locust Ridge II wind project will supply the purchase and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2009. It will be the largest of 11 operating utility-scale wind power projects in the state, and will create enough electricity to power over 26,000 typical Pennsylvania homes each year. The 10 year, fixed-price power purchase agreement with the healthcare group will begin in 2011, when regional electricity price caps come off. The purchase, totaling approximately 24 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, is expected to account for 10% of the entire wind farm output, helping to provide necessary revenue to support the construction of the project.
The wind, the fuel for a wind power project, is inexhaustible and free. Once a project is built, the cost of the power is fixed and not affected by fossil fuel price volatility. The purchaser group is locking in a flat electricity price for a substantial percentage of their electricity consumption.
As part of the agreement, the group has also purchased wind-generated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), or the environmental attributes, associated with 10% of the energy they have contracted for with Iberdrola Renewables. Each REC is associated with the production of one megawatt-hour of renewable energy from the project. Based on the purchase of these RECs, the estimated carbon offset each year is equivalent to over 6 million pounds of CO2, which is the approximate equivalent of removing over 500 cars from the road or planting over 2,500 acres of trees each year. According to Practice Greenhealth's Health Care Leadership National Action Plan, displacing 1.25 million kWh of fossil fuel generated electric power avoids over $10 million in direct medical costs.
"This group of healthcare institutions has demonstrated the type of leadership that will make a long-term difference in driving the wind energy industry in Pennsylvania forward," said Martin Mugica, Senior Vice President of Iberdrola Renewables. "In addition, their commitment sets the standard for customers looking to hedge the risk of rising energy costs."
The Locust Ridge II wind power project features 51 2 MW Gamesa wind turbines manufactured in Bucks County, PA, the same turbines used at the first Locust Ridge wind project, which has been in operation since December, 2006. As with the first Locust Ridge wind project, Iberdrola Renewables developed, built and will operate the new wind farm.
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, is a 1,200 bed integrated delivery network serving the communities of North Philadelphia and Montgomery County, PA. A founding member of the Jefferson Health System, Einstein combines the best of academic medicine and community service, employing nearly 7,000 people, and offering training programs for physician residents and fellows, nurses and other health professionals. The Network provides healthcare services through the Albert Einstein Medical Center and Einstein at Elkins Park hospitals, its MossRehab and Belmont Behavioral Health divisions, Germantown Community Health Services, Willow Terrace (a nursing home), Willowcrest (a center for subacute care), outpatient facilities such as Center One and Einstein Neighborhood Healthcare, network of primary care and specialist practices throughout the community. For more information, visit www.einstein.edu or call 1-800-EINSTEIN.
Iberdrola Renewables is currently the world's leading provider of wind power with over 9,300 MW of wind power in operation globally. www.iberdrolarenewables.usContact:
Rodney Yancey, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, 215.456.3922
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805