Bloom Boxes to power California facilities with fuel cells

Oakland, Calif., January 20, 2011 – Committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, Kaiser Permanente will deploy 4 MW of solid oxide fuel-cell generated power in a deal that will put fuel-cell generators at seven facilities in California by the end of this year.

The agreement with Bloom Energy, which makes fuel cell energy servers, expands Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to using sustainable energy sources.

Installing these “Bloom Boxes” at Kaiser Permanente buildings is part of a larger plan to use onsite renewable energy sources to power Kaiser Permanente’s buildings nationwide.

Kaiser Permanente’s investment in fuel cells will reduce the organization’s reliance on the public electric grid and help it diversify its energy sources. The 4 MW of fuel-cell power are expected to reduce Kaiser Permanente’s use of fossil fuels for electricity by 34 percent at the locations where they are installed.

The deal comes after Kaiser Permanente announced last year it would deploy 15 MW of solar power at 15 facilities across the state by the end of 2011.

Kaiser Permanente agreed to purchase energy through Bloom Electron service, a power purchase agreement with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Bloom Energy, which will install, own and operate all of the Bloom Boxes. The fuel cells will run on natural gas, with the potential to run on 100 percent directed biogas, a non-fossil methane derived from landfills or manure.

Meanwhile, Bloom Energy has agreed to supply the utility natural gas network with biogas, to offset greenhouse gas emissions at Kaiser Permanente’s facilities.

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