UPMC data centers go green with wind
May 13, 2013 in Medical Technology
UPMC announced May 12 that it is the first health system in Pennsylvania to commit to the purchase of wind power energy credits equal to its data facilities’ annual energy usage.
UPMC has a history of pursuing environmentally friendly practices. Its green initiatives include the installation of solar power cells on Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, a geothermal installation at UPMC Northwest and elimination of mercury-containing fluorescent lights and thermostats across the health system.
UPMC purchased 15,400 renewable energy credits generated by wind farms in Pennsylvania from EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. of Pittsburgh, officials say. That’s equal to 15,400,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity, accounting for 100 percent of the annual electricity use by UPMC’s data centers.
That offset is expected to avoid the emissions of more than 11,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide that would result from an equivalent amount of energy generated using fossil fuels, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, officials say.
UPMC has been working for three years to decrease the power consumption at its sites, using advanced cooling methods and consolidation of computer systems.
“As a good steward of the environment and public health, we are pleased to be able to make this commitment to local wind energy for our employees and our patients,” said Dan Drawbaugh, UPMC’s chief information officer, in a press statement.
“It is wonderful to be able to supply renewable energy to a Pittsburgh leader committed to improving public health,” said Jim Spencer, president and CEO of EverPower, in a statement. “Purchases like this allow more wind farms to be built in Pennsylvania, thus creating economic growth and environmental benefits.”
[See also: Green IT a growing opportunity for vendors]