Apple Swings for the Fences
by Barbara Grady
US healthcare group Kaiser Permanente has signed two separate power purchase agreements (PPAs) for a total of 180MW of solar power.
The organisation has signed a 20-year contract with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources to purchase 110MW of power from the Blythe Solar project. The contract will begin in 2016.
A separate deal has secured the purchase of 70MW of onsite solar from NRG Energy. The company will install rooftop and ground mount solar arrays at as many as 170 of its hospitals and other facilities in California. Site selection is underway and construction is expected to start later this year. NRG will finance, build, own and operate the systems which will all be operational before the end of 2016.
Rame Hemstreet, chief energy officer at Kaiser Permanente, said: "Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources over time is one of the most impactful actions we can take to address the effects of climate change on health."
The deal is further cause for optimism both for commercial scale installation demand, and the demand from large corporates for solar PPAs. This latter point has been dramatically stressed by Apple which has committed US$850 million to a PPA with First Solar.
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