The Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia, US has recently installed a $9.7m natural gas-powered cogeneration facility that is capable of producing roughly two-thirds of the power needed to operate the hospital.

The facility also helps heat the hospital’s boilers by recycling steam and together with the cogeneration facility the hospital looks set to generate up to 70 per cent of its power on-site.

Abington Memorial Hospital

The hospital expects to save $2m a year on energy costs and the equipment will also act as a back-up power supply should a power shortage occur.

“Energy use is very high in any commercial building,” said Richard Szatkowski, corporate director of plant operations for the hospital. “That’s particularly so in health care. There’s a lot of high energy-use equipment. Reducing our overall energy consumption is always a goal of a hospital.”

Abington Memorial received a $3m Pennsylvania Green Energy Works grant and a $2.75m rebate through PECO’s Smart Energy program, Szatkowski said.

The project was designed by PWI Engineering Inc., a firm that specializes in providing services to healthcare, pharmaceutical and institutional facilities.

Hospitals are particularly interested in the cost-savings potential, as demands from the US Affordable Healthcare Act and cuts to Medicare continue to put a strain on their bottom lines.

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