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Solar and Hospital Backup Power: Building a Brighter Future

Hospitals and medical facilities alike require a constant supply of power to maintain life-saving operations. However, in the event of a power outage, critical systems and equipment may shut down, and it'll take some time to connect with existing emergency generators. So why add solar?  

Simply put, hospitals with backup power have to pay bills too, and adding solar to existing systems can have a huge impact on energy costs. But, with all the different solutions, it can be challenging to know what the best option is to supplement the backup for your medical equipment is. 

Why Use Solar Panels to Supply Hospital Backup Power?

Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) plays a critical role in the healthcare industry. The loss of electricity is more than just an inconvenience, it can result in a tragic event. That's why hospitals must keep power issues under control. Ideally, outages should never occur, and if one does, the backup generator should be there to keep the patients safe and the lights on. 

However, every type of mechanical system malfunctions with age. That's why having an energy reserve is so crucial, as access to an uninterrupted power supply helps hospitals support and protect vital medical equipment. 

How can Battery Backup for Medical Equipment Support the Hospitals in the Face of Power Outage?

Energy storage, such as battery backup, can be paired with solar to provide additional backup capabilities.  Batteries typically have a much faster response rate than backup generators, which may require manual initiation.

Battery backup systems can be sized down, and connected only to the most critical energy loads in the hospital, effectively prioritizing equipment that sustains and saves lives.  While it is possible to use large batteries to back up the whole hospital, it is usually not economical to design such a system.

The most straight forward application of batteries to a hospital energy system is combining them with solar for economic benefit only.  The batteries store the low cost solar energy of the daytime and use it either when the hospital has a particularly high period of energy use, or when power from the grid is the most expensive.

In California, How Does OSHPD/HAIC View Solar?

In California, medical facilities are governed by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) - now known as the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI).  Let''s be real.  Many health care operators are not keen on inviting OSHPD to their facility unless absolutely necessary.

If you a hospital adds rooftop solar panels to their facility, OSHPD/HAIC may require the facility to make other changes that can add significant costs.  For this reason most hospitals and skilled nursing facilities opt to add solar to their parking lots and parking garages, rather than the hospital itself.  This way, they get the added benefit of covered parking for their patients and workers.

If solar is added on the property, but not on the rooftop, then healthcare facility operators are comfortable that OSHPD/HAIC will limit the scope of their oversight to the interconnection outside of the facility.  Even with the added cost of parking structures for solar, hospitals can save significantly on their energy spend.

How Can Hospitals Take Advantage of Federal Solar Tax Credits?

If your hospital is considering solar panels as a UPS energy reserve, California and the federal government offer a few incentives to encourage medical facilities to adopt solar solutions. 

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC), also referred to as the "Solar Federal Income Tax Credit," is a state-wide program that allows businesses to receive a 30% tax credit for investing in solar energy. 

It's important to note under the Inflation Reduction Act, this rebate can increase upwards of 40% or 50% depending on your specific location and system details. Simply put, the Federal Solar Tax Credit enables hospitals to be reimbursed for nearly one-third of the total cost of their new solar installation project. 

If your hospital is considering renewable energy, you'll need to act fast.Not only is the federal tax credit sunsetting, but in California the rules are set to change for the value of solar.  That's why right now is the perfect time to get in touch with a trusted solar provider, and start planning your renewable energy project.  

How Can I Find a Trusted Solar Provider?

Finding a trusted solar provider to work with your hospital''s backup power project doesn''t need to be difficult. Here''s the secret: just narrow down your options. To do this, consider the following actions:  

Search for Online Reviews

When searching for a provider to handle large-scale solar projects, online reviews are a great place to start. Create a list of potential solar companies around you, and read their reviews. Reading through several testimonials gives you a comprehensive picture of what the company does and, more importantly, how well they do it.

Talk to Other Hospitals and Medical Facilities 

Yes, online reviews are helpful, but they shouldn''t be the "end-all-be-all" in your search for a high-quality solar provider. You should also talk to other hospitals or medical facilities nearby. There''s a good chance they have used a large-scale solar provider willing to vouch for. 

Pacifico Power: California''s Top Choice for Large-Scale Energy Solutions

Is your hospital considering renewable energy? Good news, Pacifico Power has you covered. 

As a large-scale commercial solar provider, we take pride in offering holistic solutions that improve your daily operations. Whether you want to install new solar panels, want to upgrade your UPS system, rest assured that Pacifico is here to lend a helping hand. Schedule a free assessment to speak with the experts, and let''s get started.