… that converts a 104-vehicle parking lot into a 230-kilowatt (kW) solar electric generating system. St. Mary Medical Center, known for its health and wellness programs, initiated the project to focus on a new type of healing experience, one that benefits the environment and its employees.
The solar generating station is comprised of custom steel frame shade structures that support a canopy of 1,150 Kyocera KC 200GT photovoltaic panels. These solar panels convert sunlight into clean energy. By transforming its parking area into a solar generating station, St. Mary Medical Center has taken an active role in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that it will emit into the atmosphere by offsetting the electrical load of the hospital. The solar generating station has a peak rated output of about 333,400 kWh per year.
While most solar panels sit on a rooftop, St. Mary Medical Center utilizes a large open space on the property, its parking lot, to capture the region’s ample sunlight so that the same panels that capture the sun will also offer shaded parking, a valuable commodity in the High Desert that will make employees a bit more comfortable when they re-enter their vehicles after working a shift at the hospital.
The new parking shade structures, which comprise the community’s most visible solar power system, will administer a healing dose of environmental benefits to the planet in a way that promotes the hospital’s fiscal health, without any capital outlay.
The St. Mary Medical Center solar solution brought to the medical center a creative financing solution through Solar Power Partners. Solar Power Partners provided financing for the project at no cost to the hospital through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The hospital signed the PPA, a financing instrument that allows St. Mary Medical Center to host rather than own the solar power system. The facility agrees to purchase the power produced by the Solar Grove(TM) at roughly the same price at which it buys power from the local utility company during peak hours of the day when the sun is shining. Anthony De Vito, CEO of Green Power Systems, added, “St. Mary Medical Center was looking for a way to add shade structures for its employees, and the arrangement provided by the Power Purchase Agreement includes this as part of the solar power system, with no out of pocket costs.”