Blog / Focus: Energy Efficiency

Proposed East Bronx Healthcare microgrid design mitigates risk for four hospitals

By Jennifer Kearney / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
May 11, 2017

The East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid was announced as one of 11 winners to receive a $1,000,000 grant from NY Prize, a statewide initiative focused on modernizing New York State’s electricity grid.

The competition is the first in the nation that is designated to helping communities design and build microgrids, standalone energy systems that can operate during a power outage in an effort to promote clean energy and lower community costs.

In the first stage of the competition, Gotham 360 received a $100,000 grant to create a microgrid concept and perform a feasibility study.

Now in the second stage of the NY Prize competition, the East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid team, led by Brookfield/Enwave and made up of Gotham 360, Burns & McDonnell, Van Zelm Engineers, Couch White, Utilivisor, and ConEdison is in the process of designing a district energy system microgrid that will provide heat and power to four institutions (Montefiore’s Weiler Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Calvary Hospital.

These four organizations combined are hosts to 1,270 beds that serve over 137,000 patients annually and employ 2,000 full time faculty members and 1,000 M.D. and Ph.D. students. In total, all four facilities receive over $157M in NIH funding.

The proposed microgrid will mitigate the risk of single generators failing during prolonged outages by using combined heat and power, solar, battery systems, steam turbine generators, heat recovery steam generators, and leveraging existing steam generation plants.

The design will give the facilities the ability to operate as usual during an outage, enabling uninterrupted service and care. In addition, electric and steam costs will be reduced through CHP efficiency and the facilities will be hedged to future spikes in commodity costs. As another initiative, electric and CNG vehicle charging will be evaluated for potential future installation.

Jennifer Kearney is an Executive Partner and Co-Founder of Gotham 360 LLC.

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