Boulder Community Foothills Hospital Partners with Namaste Solar Electric to Become First Hospital in State to Use Solar Energy
Boulder, Colorado - Boulder Community Foothills Hospital, one of the country's top ten green hospitals, became even greener today as Namaste Solar Electric began installation of a 37 kilowatt solar system on a roof awning at the Foothills Hospital in addition to the recently completed 28 kilowatt system on the roof of the Tebo Family Medical Pavilion. To integrate this installation into the architecture of the Foothills hospital, Namaste Solar is utilizing SunPower panels for their aesthetic appeal and high efficiency rating. Combined, the two solar electric systems will provide more than 75,000 kWh of electricity each year and prevent 155,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually - the equivalent of not driving 168,000 vehicle miles each year or planting 5,900 trees.
Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) and Namaste Solar Electric are partnering to provide clean, affordable electricity to the Foothills hospital. The unique aspect of this partnership is that the solar electric systems will be owned and operated by Namaste Solar, and Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) will pay a competitive rate for the solar electricity that is produced. The solar electricity will be fed into the BCH buildings, thereby offsetting some of the electricity that would normally be purchased from Xcel Energy. After ten years of operation, BCH will have the opportunity to purchase the systems from Namaste Solar at a discounted price. Typically, a significant amount of upfront capital is required to purchase and install a solar electric system, but cash rebates from Xcel Energy and a 30% federal income tax credit help to make it a favorable long-term investment. Because BCH is a nonprofit organization and would not have been able to take advantage of the federal tax credit, a partnership structure like this, referred to as "third party ownership", makes this installation possible.
"We are thrilled that our partnership will help Boulder Community Hospital continue its tradition of environmental leadership in the Boulder business community," said Blake Jones, President of Namaste Solar. "With Namaste Solar owning and operating the solar systems, we can take advantage of the federal income tax credits and pass on the savings to the Hospital. The end result is that the Hospital will get solar electricity at a more affordable price than it would otherwise be able to obtain on its own."
Boulder Community Foothills Hospital is one of the top 10 green hospitals in the country* and was the first hospital in the country to receive the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The use of solar electricity reconfirms the hospital's commitment to being an environmental leader. LEED certification was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a coalition of leaders from across the building industry, to promote buildings that meet the highest performance standards through environmentally conscious design, energy efficiency, resource conservation and indoor air quality. The national rating system is designed to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.
BCH sees this project as an integral part of promoting public health and well-being. "Colorado gets more than 90 percent of its electricity by burning coal and natural gas," explained Kai Abelkis, Environmental Coordinator at BCH. "The resulting smog, soot, and mercury pollution contribute to wide-ranging health problems such as asthma, heart and lung disease, and some cancers. We're proud we're doing what we can to minimize these public health risks. It is part of our mission to lead by example and to promote a healthy community."
The solar systems are being installed in October and will be fully operational by November.
BOULDER COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
Boulder Community Hospital is a coordinated network of facilities and skilled personnel providing an expansive range of medical services to people and businesses across Boulder County. As a locally owned and operated non-profit hospital system, Boulder Community is dedicated to meeting the constantly evolving health care needs of county residents. Boulder Community is known across Colorado for its clinical excellence in heart care, neurosurgery, rehabilitation and sports medicine. BCH provides medical care annually to more than 37,000 emergency patients, 10,700 inpatients, 10,000 surgical patients and 221,000 outpatients. Some 540 physicians in 48 medical specialties have privileges at BCH.
NAMASTE SOLAR ELECTRIC
Namaste Solar Electric is a Boulder-based, employee-owned solar electric company dedicated to the betterment of the planet by bringing clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy technologies to the homes and businesses in our community. With a values-based business model and reputation for philanthropy, Namaste Solar is a likely partner for local businesses who want to make a positive impact on the community by purchasing a solar electric system. Namaste Solar is committed to maintaining the highest standards of environmental stewardship, customer satisfaction, employee morale, community involvement and professional integrity. Visit us at www.namastesolar.com
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* BCFH was named a top 10 green hospital by the Green Guide, a publication of the National Geographic Society.