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Westerly Hospital reaps benefits of solar energy

solar energy westerly hospital

Monday, May 15, 2023

WESTERLY, RI (May 15, 2023) Throughout its 98-year history, Westerly Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to providing the greatest of care to its patients and the community. Now, the hospital is extending that care to the environment through an arrangement to tap into electricity from a solar farm in Smithfield. 

Located an hour north of the hospital, a 28,000 ground-mounted solar panel farm is generating power for the hospital, resulting in annual savings of more than $400,000 through virtual net metering. The solar farm, operated by Kearsarge Energy, generates bill credits for every kilowatt-hour of energy produced. These credits are applied to Westerly Hospital’s electricity accounts with Rhode Island Energy.

“Participating in a community solar program enables us to be good stewards of our financial resources while also contributing to the growth of clean energy in Rhode Island,” said Patrick Green, president and CEO of Westerly Hospital, part of the Yale New Haven Health System. “Westerly Hospital provides world-class care for its patients and the greatest of care for the environment.”

Westerly Hospital is the first hospital to subscribe to Kearsarge Energy’s newest solar farm project which will generate more than 14 million Kwh annually. The hospital is also the first Yale New Haven Health facility to benefit from solar energy. The commitment to renewable energy sources at Westerly hospital follows on the heels of Lawrence + Memorial Hospital’s installation of fuel cells on the hospital property last year. 

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Westerly Hospital, not only to help them save money on their energy bills, but also to further the mission of clean energy in Rhode Island. This project was complicated due to its size and construction during the pandemic but we are pleased to have it operating,” said Andrew Bernstein, CEO, Kearsarge Solar. 

According to the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Virtual Net Metering allows eligible customers to connect their electric load regardless of whether the renewable system is located on the customers properties. Eligible Virtual Net Metering customers include state agencies, quasi-state agencies, municipalities, public housing authorities, public schools, private schools, non-profits, federal government and hospitals.

The emissions, air pollutants and water reductions are equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 2,264 passenger cars driven for one year, CO2 emissions from 1,182,320 gallons of gasoline consumed and carbon sequestered by 12,435 acres of forest in one year. 

Westerly Hospital, a member of Yale New Haven Health, is a 125-bed hospital that has been providing residents of southern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut with a full range of inpatient and outpatient services in a community hospital setting for more than 90 years. Westerly Hospital patients receive the finest quality treatment in the following areas of care: emergency, medical, surgical, radiology, laboratory and rehabilitative services. The hospital also offers heart and vascular care, interventional pain management, wound care, pulmonary rehabilitation services, inpatient geriatric psychiatric care and comprehensive cancer care provided through the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center. All inpatient rooms are private.

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