Chattanooga's biggest hospital plans to slash energy use, carbon emissions

Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., plans to implement a new cogeneration system that will significantly reduce its carbon emissions and cut its energy spending by up to $1.5 million a year, the Times Free Press reports.

The hospital currently spends nearly $6 million annually on electricity and natural gas to heat and cool its facilities and power systems, such as hot water and air filtration as well as medical equipment and other services. This makes Erlanger one of the city's biggest energy users for both electricity and natural gas.

The new $13 million combined heat and power system will capture and reuse all of the steam from the gas-fired power generators to produce electricity for lighting and appliances, hot water for laundry and showers, steam for building heat, and chilled water for air conditioning. The system is being partially financed with a $6.75 million grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

"We hope this can not only save energy and money but be a real showcase to demonstrate the potential of cogeneration and distributed energy," Ben Edgar, president of White Harvest Energy, which worked with Erlanger and TVA to implement the system, told the Times Free Press.

Erlanger expects the system to be up and running as early as November. When it is fully operational, the energy plant should reduce carbon emissions comparable to taking 4,000 cars off the road, the Times Free Press notes.

More articles on facilities management:

UPMC presents architects, plans for $2 billion, 3-hospital project
OhioHealth to invest $275M in campus upgrades
Dignity Health to build 345-bed tower as part of campus makeover

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