John Muir Health Goes Green at Walnut Creek Medical Center
New photovoltaic solar system will reduce greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions
Walnut Creek, Calif. (May 22, 2019) – John Muir Health has installed a photovoltaic solar system on the roof of the Walnut Creek Medical Center’s parking garage. The system will produce approximately 580,000 kilowatt (kWh) hours of power annually and will save John Muir Health approximately $1.4 million in energy costs over the life of the system.
“John Muir Health is committed to improving the health of our communities in many ways,” said Michael Monaldo, vice president of facilities development and real estate at John Muir Health. “These solar panels are an important investment in reducing our carbon footprint and in contributing to a healthier environment.”
The reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions provided by this new system is equivalent to the amount of electricity used to power 47 homes each year. The offset in greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to 1.3 million miles driven by the average passenger vehicle, or 93 vehicles driven for one year. The amount of carbon sequestered is equal to 512 acres of forest.
The installation of these panels will also help realize goals in greenhouse gas reduction set by the City of Walnut Creek and the State of California. The city adopted a Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2012. The CAP sets a goal of reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2020. The state is on track to meet or exceed the current target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Installation of the photovoltaic solar system is the latest green feature to be added to the Walnut Creek Medical Center campus. The Tom and Billie Long Patient Care Tower, which opened in 2011, features six roof gardens, a circular courtyard, LED lighting, low VOC flooring and plenty of natural light to help create a healing environment for patients. The roof gardens provide insulation to conserve heat in the winter and help keep the building cool in the summer. The gardens also feature drought-resistant native plants that require minimal watering.
There is also a co-generation power plant on the campus that produces a megawatt of electricity with natural gas micro-turbine engines. The waste heat is used to produce steam to run a 300 ton absorption chiller. This process is very energy efficient, reduces carbon emissions and saves on energy costs. In addition, the project team created an interface between building management and medical record systems that automatically reduces ventilation to unoccupied patient rooms. This reduces energy consumption and saves up to $50,000 per year.
To learn more about John Muir Health’s award-winning programs and services, visit: www.johnmuirhealth.com.
About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center, UCSF Health and Stanford Children's Health to expand its capabilities, increase access to services and better serve patients. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.