West / Regional Reports

California's Motion Picture Hospital Goes ‘Green’

WOODLAND HILLS, CA — The Motion Picture & Television Fund Hospital, located here, recently ordered six natural gas-driven cogeneration modules from Tecogen (Waltham, MA) to compliment a Tecochill® natural gas-driven cooling system that was shipped earlier this summer.

In the eyes of company president Bob Panora, Tecogen demonstrated that it can supply technology “with three significant benefits” for the hospital.

“First, we can substantially increase their energy efficiency, which will allow them to reduce their energy costs,” said Panora. “Second, our systems will be easy to permit, since emissions fall well below even the strictest levels in the Los Angeles area. And third, our systems will cut CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions nearly in half, compared with what would be produced by generating a comparable amount of energy conventionally.”

CO2 is considered one of the primary “greenhouse gases” scientists believe is responsible for global warming. According to Panora and Tecogen, with the new units in place, the hospital will produce 4.5 million fewer pounds of CO2 per year. This is said to be a 46% reduction from what the hospital’s energy use now represents.

“Working with Tecogen is a win-win,” said Seth Ellis, vice president and chief operating officer for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. “Our organization, which was founded more than 80 years ago, has always worked hard to be a good neighbor and corporate citizen. We are very pleased to implement this technology that will not only prove cost efficient, but will do something good for the environment, as well.”

Tecogen’s equipment, which the company says yields better than 80% total energy efficiency, is designed to reduce the hospital’s energy costs. Each on-site cogeneration module contains an engine that burns natural gas to power a generator, which in turn produces electricity for the facility. Exhaust heat is recovered to provide hot water, thereby eliminating the need for the gas that is now burned in the hospital’s boilers. A major portion of the recovered heat is used to power absorption-type cooling units (air-conditioners), designed to further reduce the hospital’s overall electricity demand during the summer months.

According to Tecogen, the technology is exceptionally clean and non-polluting. It said its state-of-the-art emissions controls have allowed Tecogen to meet even the most stringent air quality requirements in the U.S., including the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) standards established by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in California.

The Motion Picture & Television Fund Hospital was created exclusively to serve the needs of entertainment industry professionals and their families. The facility’s broad range of services includes hospital care, surgical services, diagnostic services, respiratory care, and transitional and follow-up care. The hospital is part of The Motion Picture & Television Fund, a comprehensive service organization that operates five outpatient health centers throughout the greater Los Angeles area; a fully licensed, 256-bed acute-care hospital; a children’s center; a retirement community; health plans; and more.

Publication date: 09/09/2002

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