Hospitals everywhere are finding that budgets are very tight, which means they need to explore every opportunity to reduce operating costs. Albany Medical Center, which serves as northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is no exception. That is why when the opportunity to join one of Nexamp’s nearby community solar farms in Clifton Park, NY came along, Director of Energy Management, Karen Seward, jumped at the opportunity.
“We are always seeking ways to save money, and sustainability is important to our students at the Medical College,” said Seward. “By enrolling in this program and joining Nexamp’s solar project in Clifton Park, we are able to support the growth of local renewable energy resources and realize savings immediately once the project goes live.”
With community solar, Albany Medical Center has no installation or maintenance responsibilities. The credits generated from the offsite solar farm and sold to Albany Medical Center at a discount will directly offset the group’s National Grid charges, saving them a significant amount of money each year.
“We looked at a lot of different options and concluded that community solar is a no-risk way to put money back into our budget for other priorities,” added Seward. “In addition, we were drawn to the idea of being part of something that will remove carbon from the air and be a catalyst for better health in our wider community. Joining this project demonstrates our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community.”
Under the agreement, Albany Medical Center will be enrolled as the anchor offtaker, receiving 40 percent of the energy credits generated from the local Nexamp solar farm. This represents approximately 2.7 MW of clean energy that will be fed to the local grid and will result in an estimated annual savings of more than $50,000.
Seward also noted that being part of a larger project in the Nexamp community solar program held extra appeal. “We are subscribing to 40 percent of the solar farm and the other 60 percent will be available to our employees and students as well as members of the broader community. It’s exciting to know that others will be able to realize their own savings and get involved in expanding clean energy in the area.”
Albany Medical Center includes the 766-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals. It is affiliated with Columbia Memorial Health, Saratoga Hospital and Glens Falls Hospital to provide the largest locally governed health system in the region. Combined, these four hospitals offer 1,520 beds, more than 800 physicians and 125 outpatient locations throughout the Capital Region.
Albany Medical Center now has a sustainability story to tell and looks forward to doing more to reduce its impact on the environment.