Citizens Medical Center announced today during Microgrid 2019 in San Diego, that through a partnership with Enchanted Rock, it has taken steps to ensure power outages no longer impact “the safety, medical care and comfort of its patients.”
Citizens entered into an agreement with the Houston, Texas-based energy company to build natural gas microgrids that will supply redundant electrical service for Citizens.
According to the health facility, the new natural gas microgrids will help maintain full power, despite natural disasters or other utility interruptions.
Citizens, located in Victoria, Texas, was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, which landed on the Gulf Coast in August 2017. The hospital explained it did have an emergency generator, but it only has the capacity to support the equipment, life safety and critical loads required for regulatory compliance — a common circumstance in hospitals. Thus, the emergency generator only backs up the required loads.
What about the rest of the facility? In the case of Hurricane Harvey, the hospital still had to evacuate patient due to power concerns.
“During disasters, hospitals shouldn’t be closing to evacuate patients. They should be open to serve the community and save lives and we are delighted to be able to help Citizens achieve this goal.” — Thomas McAndrew, CEO of Enchanted Rock.
As for the reasoning behind the microgrids via the new partnership with Enchanted Rock, Citizens CEO, Mike Olson said, “After our experience during Harvey, we wanted to find a way to remain open and be the safe location the community needs next time a disaster strikes.
“We now feel confident going into the 2020 hurricane season knowing that our power resiliency is in the hands of experts and were surprised to discover that this risk could be addressed so affordably with Enchanted Rock’s proven resiliency solution.”
Enchanted Rock offers what is calls “Resiliency-as-a-Service,” and Citizens noted in the press release that it chose Enchanted Rock’s natural gas backup generators in part because they can run indefinitely with unlimited fuel supply delivered through underground infrastructure.
Citizens also offered unique financial terms for the natural gas microgrids through its Integrated-Reliability-on-Call (iROC) service, which allows clients to pay a fraction of the total cost of owning a standard reliability system.
Ultimately, the new natural gas microgrids will allow the hospital to stay open and serve the community even when the main utility grid goes down.
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