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Hospital joins initiative to conserve power

 Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital is taking steps to help prevent blackouts and brownouts in the communities it serves by reducing its electrical consumption. Along with its sister hospitals, Adventist GlenOaks, Adventist Bolingbrook and Adventist Hinsdale, Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital has joined the PJM Demand Response Program, an environmentally-friendly initiative shown not only to conserve energy and increase power reliability, but also stabilize public electricity rates.

The program is being administered through EnerNOC, a Boston-based company that is a developer of clean energy and intelligent energy solutions. EnerNOC uses its Network Operations Center (NOC) to remotely manage and reduce energy consumption across a network of commercial, institutional and industrial consumers that agree to use alternate energy sources or reduce some non-critical energy consumption in the event of a power grid emergency, or unusually high power demand on the local electrical grid. In exchange, the consumers receive a quarterly stipend that is reinvested into their operations, benefitting the community, said Mike Cole, facilities director at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.

“The program is a win for everybody and doesn’t involve any capital,” Cole said.

The hospitals would be powered by generators and would reduce non-critical loads if they are required to reduce energy usage from the power grid in an emergency, Cole said. The shift would typically last only a few hours and would free up capacity to prevent potential blackouts and brownouts.

PJM, based in Pennsylvania, is the power grid operator responsible for maintaining the grid inter-connecting utilities from the Midwest to the East Coast. 

“This innovative program reduces the need to build more unsightly, carbon-emitting power plants and contributes to a ‘green’ energy future,” said Rick Wright, chief executive officer of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. “Conserving resources and practicing good corporate citizenship are integral to our organization’s mission.”