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Source: Sharp Grossmont Hospital

Photo: Dave Grundstrom, chairman of the Sharp Grossmont Hospital board, and Michael Emerson, vice president of the Grossmont Healthcare District board, join donors Mary Alice Brady and Ron Brady for the official launch of the hospital's central energy plant.

January 4, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Sharp Grossmont Hospital and the Grossmont Healthcare District officially celebrated the completion of the hospital's new central energy plant (CEP) in December.  The facility now supplies the hospital with its own generated energy, taking Sharp Grossmont completely off the electrical grid.

Elected officials visited the hospital recently to officially flip a giant symbolic switch, to commemorate the achievement. The three-story, on-site plant will save millions of dollars in energy costs, and is expected to reduce the hospital's emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants by 90 percent. Funding for the project came from the taxpayer-approved Proposition G — a 2006 ballot measure — and philanthropic support.

The plant also houses a new $18 million cogeneration system, paid for by Sharp Grossmont Hospital. In the event of a major outage or other emergency, the hospital will be able to continue caring for its patients and operating as needed. Signage on the building reads "Brady Family CoGen," in honor of a major donation from East County residents Ron and Mary Alice Brady.

"I'm very proud of the efforts by the Grossmont Healthcare District and Sharp Grossmont Hospital," says San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, whose district includes East County. "The CEP is emitting less than half of the allowable emissions, which makes it one of the five least-polluting plants recently constructed in the state of California."

The cogeneration system uses a combustion turbine generator (CTG) — similar in function to a spinning engine on a passenger jetliner. Powered by natural gas, the CTG has the capacity to produce up to 4.4 megawatts of electricity. Though this is more power than the hospital currently needs, the new facility was designed to allow for future growth and expansion, which includes ongoing construction of a 71,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center.

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This just proves how much SDG&E is over charging us for electricity. A stand alone generator should NEVER be cheaper than the grid.