COVID-19 increases use of microgrids in healthcare sector

July 9, 2020

Reliability, resiliency and flexibility-related concerns at medical facilities are increasing interest in distributed energy systems, according to an article on the UtilityDive website.

For instance, as the country continues to deal with COVID-19 and California faces the likelihood of more wildfire-related power outages, Kaiser Permanente is looking to deploy more solar-plus-storage systems and fuel cells.

"I think the whole COVID-19 situation just really reinforced the nervousness that we all have about power reliability in general," Seth Baruch, director of energy and utilities at Kaiser Permanente, said in the article.

Microgrid prices are becoming more competitive, and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced hospitals to be flexible in where they route and treat patients. And while hospitals generally have back-up generators for their critical branches, a power outage could cause the rest of the building to go dark, the article said.

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