Advanced Energy Group hosted the first ever post-breakfast lunch in Boston on June 14th for a specific stakeholder group and sector: Energy Strategies in Healthcare. This stakeholder lunch was facilitated by Navigant’s Ken Horne, Director for Smart Grid. Considering the trail-blazing nature of Boston’s healthcare facilities in regard to Smart Buildings, this lunch entailed fascinating presentations and conversations regarding the energy strategy and management of these critical facilities. The goal of the lunch was to foster the exchange of ideas to support each other in attaining the goals of resiliency, cost reductions, and carbon neutrality. Following the same format as an AEG breakfast, this specific stakeholder group featured discussion leaders presenting their experiences and perspectives, followed by open discussion amongst the group, discussion leaders included:
Bill Ravanesi, Boston Regional Director, Healthcare Without Harm
Jenna Agins, Energy & Sustainability Manager, NYU Langone Health
Joe Dalton, Project Director of Longwood Medical/MATEP (ENGIE)
Bill Ravanesi expressed his organization’s mission to provide reliable healthcare at the global level, clarifying that advanced energy systems are required for reliable and affordable operations. Bill emphasized the risks of being ill-prepared, as well as the ability of these facilities to obtain funding from government agencies to take on innovative projects.
Jenna Agins shared the challenges and lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy, and elements of the new state-of-the-art NYU facility. A critical element to realizing new energy standards is by obtaining PEER certification, which focuses on metrics that relate to efficiency, reliability, and resiliency. Jenna's involvement in the lunch was of special importance because Jenna is a frequent NYAE series participant and representative for the influential NYAE Gold Stakeholder Member, NYU Langone Medical. The New York and Boston cross-city dialogue increases diversity of thought, strategy, and practices; delivering benefits to both cities.
Joe Dalton elaborated on his presentation from the breakfast and focused on his perspective towards energy systems planning. Joe highlighted the importance of distinguishing the differences between resiliency and reliability, and that a balance needs to be struck between the two. Additionally, Joe discussed his approach to problem-solving for these systems, which is similar to addressing a medical problem: assess, diagnosis, prescription/clinical intervention, and bedside manner.
Following the presentations, Ken facilitated discussion that revolved around planning for different time frames, finding the balance between high potential but unproven technology, obtaining state funding, PEER evaluation, and the emerging trend of being an energy participant, while needing to stay focused on the purpose of providing healthcare services.
A key consensus agreed upon is that progressing energy system management is not a technology issue, but a policy and business issue. These facilities must deliver healthcare outcomes, not be energy pioneers. Emerging technologies have the potential to save money and provide more reliable energy, but are often unproven and difficult to justify funding. To broadly implement energy solutions, market mechanisms need to be established, and specific avenues for funding from various sources need to be available. Furthermore, progress must be made as a changing environment is posing greater risks to our health and these facilities.