September 11 (Renewables Now) - US health insurance and medical care firm Kaiser Permanente announced on Monday it has signed a contract to buy 180 MW of new wind and solar power from NextEra Energy Resources LLC.
The electricity will come from a 131-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) park in California’s eastern Riverside County and a 50-MW wind farm that will be constructed across the border in Arizona, feeding its output to California’s power network. The power purchase agreement (PPA) will also enable the construction of a battery storage facility in Riverside County with a capacity of 110 MW.
The non-profit healthcare consortium expects the contracted capacity to be commissioned in 2020 and 2021, while it will start receiving associated renewable energy credits in 2019. Via the PPA, it anticipates to start using more than 1 million MWh of renewable electricity each year and thus become the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the US healthcare sector.
The agreement complements Kaiser Permanente’s goal to become carbon neutral in 2020. Since 2008, the company, which is now a member of the RE100 initiative, has cut its net greenhouse gas emissions by 29%. “By investing in renewable energy and becoming carbon neutral, Kaiser Permanente is helping to prevent climate-related illness for people worldwide,” said chairman and CEO Bernard J Tyson.