A Minneapolis hospital campus is undergoing a multi-year renewal to update facilities and enhance patient care. Part of the project will be a new community solar array that will generate power for the hospital and the local community. The Allina Health Abbott Northwestern Hospital will receive multiple upgrades to ensure long-term operations for at least the next 50 years.
The hospital, which has been part of the local community for over 130 years, will feature a new Central Utility Plant at the Chicago Avenue and 26th Street intersection. As part of the new CUP, the hospital will receive a new community solar array, which will be developed by Cooperative Energy Futures. The project will have a capacity of 1 megawatt, which is enough to power upwards of 250 households.
The power generated by the community solar array will be filtered into the neighboring power grid to help serve low- to middle-income households, small businesses, and tenants. The hospital’s community solar program will accept subscribers who will receive solar energy and a monthly utility credit to reduce their electricity costs.
Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s renewal project will adhere to the Covenant, an agreement previously made with residents to prevent the acquisition of additional property for the sake of the updates. Before additions can be made to the hospital, the renewal project will need to complete construction of the Central Utility Plant and a new Transportation Hub, which will add two more levels of parking. As part of the new hub, the hospital will be adding charging stations for electric vehicles, parking for ridesharing, and a new promenade.
Upon completion of the renewal project upgrades, the hospital will host its community solar project to provide a necessary benefit to the neighborhood. Community solar is good not just for the economy, but it also improves the environment by reducing carbon emissions. The 1-megawatt facility will help Minnesota achieve its goal of switching to 100% carbon-free clean energy by 2050.