Harborview installs largest hospital solar array in the state

By the end of December, Harborview Medical Center will have a brand new 100-kilowatt solar array fully installed on the roof of its West Hospital building. The solar project will be the largest of its kind on any hospital in Washington and represents the latest energy-saving project created by Harborview in partnership with McKinstry Co. LLC.

The 6,600 square feet of solar panels will help to offset the energy costs of the medical center and will provide emergency backup power. While the solar array is installed, Harborview will also replace the roof and add insulation to further decrease their heating and cooling needs.

“Harborview is committed to sustainability in our operations,” says Pam Jorgensen, assistant administrator of facilities and engineering at the medical center.

“This solar project will help us meet our carbon-reduction goals, create redundant power for the West Hospital in case of an emergency and demonstrate the feasibility of solar power on health care facilities,” she says.

This project is partially funded by a $50,000 grant from Seattle City Light’s Green Up program and a $47,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Energy Efficiency Grant Program.

Harborview has worked with McKinstry on several energy-saving projects for the past eight years including updating the medical center’s heating and cooling systems, fans, and lighting all in an effort to help cut energy costs. McKinstry reports these projects have saved Harborview over $500,000 annually and have reduced the hospital’s carbon footprint by 155,394 pounds of CO2.

“Harborview Medical Center takes a long-term, systems perspective on their facilities,” says Justin Fallstrom, McKinstry’s operations director for the Pacific Northwest.

“Every decision about their facility always comes down to the patients: patient health, patient safety and the ability for Harborview to continue to provide world-class care to all who walk through their doors,” he says.