Carilion New River Valley Medical Center’s solar panel field generates energy, revenue in big ways

The panels account for about 20% of the hospital’s energy

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Big savings are coming to Carilion Clinic as healthy habits are generating revenue and energy.

Carilion New River Valley Medical Center’s (CNRV) 4,000-panel solar tracking system led to a presentation with a check in the amount of $105,644, for the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits from Secure Futures LLC at an event highlighting Carilion’s commitment to the advancement of sustainability policies.

SREC credits are given out based on how much energy is produced; one SREC is generated for every megawatt-hour (MWh) or 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar electricity that a solar panel system produces.

So far, CNRV has earned a total of $113,633 from the sales of SRECs and reduced Carilion’s carbon dioxide emissions by 5,368 metric tons.

“What we will do with those funds is that we will re-invest that into future energy conservation measures for our hospitals and facilities so that we can keep up with our momentum and decrease our energy use,” explained Carilion Clinic’s Director of Sustainability Sara Wohlford.

The panels account for about 20% of the hospital’s energy.

Carilion purchases services from Staunton-based solar company Secure Futures, LLC, which finances, owns, operates and maintains the array. The panels, which first became operational in Dec. 2017, were installed on farmland adjacent to the hospital.

“The solar array at CNRV continues to produce energy above projected capacity,” said Carilion Clinic’s Senior Director of Facility Support Services Scott Blankenship. “In addition to reducing our carbon footprint and lowering the hospital’s energy bills, we will use the funds generated from the sale of the SRECs to reinvest in sustainability projects such as LED lighting upgrades.”

“What that does for public health is if we decrease emissions, we are able to decrease rates of raspatory ailments,” stated Wohlford. “We are able to decrease exacerbation of asthma or COPD or other raspatory ailments.”

“We are so excited about our investment in solar energy,” said Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion president and CEO. “It not only reduces operational costs and our carbon footprint, but the savings will ultimately help to reduce health care costs for our community.”

About the Author

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.

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