A new energy-efficient central energy plant at Scripps Mercy Hospital will provide power, plumbing, heating and air conditioning services for the facility.
The $40 million plant was constructed to improve hospital operations and to support future expansion plans for the facility, including the eventual replacement of the hospital tower by 2030 to meet seismic standards.
“At an estimated cost of more than $113 million the construction, renovation and improvement projects at Scripps Mercy’s San Diego campus are evidence of our commitment to meeting the community’s health care needs,” said President and CEO of Scripps Health Chris Van Gorder. “These projects are part of our plan to create innovative, patient-centered facilities that will serve San Diego well into the future.”
Construction on the 20,000-square-foot central energy plant began in 2008 and was completed in 2010. The facility just recently became fully operational. It includes a 3,000-ton air conditioning and water cooling plant that chills and circulates water through the 12-story hospital and can provide air conditioning powerful enough to cool 600 homes per day.
The plant also houses a 700 horsepower boiler steam plant that can heat the equivalent of 600 homes per day, and the 4,000 kilowatt power plant can provide power for the equivalent of 160 homes per day. The central energy plant’s built-in efficiencies, including upgraded equipment and technology, garnered $376,066 from the San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Savings Bid Program.
The facility contains redundancies of each critical system, including the power, steam, air conditioning and water cooling plants. If any system requires maintenance, the backup system will be used with no interruption in service. The plant also contains medical gas systems for nitrogen, medical breathing air, carbon dioxide and oxygen that are built in to the plant, providing a medical gas supply that is hospital-owned, which is a rare practice that allows for projected cost savings of $40,000 to $96,000 each year because the hospital no longer rents its gas supply.
“The new central energy plant is among the first projects in the expansion of Scripps Mercy Hospital and the services it offers,” said Tom Gammiere, chief executive of Scripps Mercy Hospital. “Other projects include a recently completed parking structure, as well as plans to enlarge and improve the emergency department, Scripps Cancer Center, operating rooms and intensive care units.”
Planned improvements throughout the Scripps Health system include seismic upgrades and investments in new information technology. Additional projects include a new hospital, research and education facilities, as well as medical offices at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla; and a new emergency department and critical care building, medical office building and parking structure at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.
About Scripps Health
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2.3 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,500 affiliated physicians and 13,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of physician offices and 22 outpatient centers and clinics. Scripps has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the Top 10 health systems in the nation for quality care. Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine, wireless health and graduate medical education. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges.