CONTECH-CA Role:  Consulting Electrical Engineer – Microgrid

Project Description:

San Benito Health Foundation (SBHF) is a small (17,584 square foot) critical health care facility serving the economically disadvantaged and predominantly Spanish-speaking community of Hollister. The CEO, originally from Puerto Rico, was inspired by the resiliency she witnessed in reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Maria. Her vision was to retrofit the SBHF facility to net zero carbon, as well as to be capable of remaining open 24/7 in the event of a catastrophic grid failure scenario.

This was accomplished by replacing all interior and exterior lighting with LED, replaced (12) HVAC units, added VFDs and Building Automation System, new TPO Cool-roof with 86 kW solar system and 525 kWh battery backup system with grid-interactive and grid-islanding capabilities. These upgrades to a net zero carbon, grid failure resistant critical health care facility resulted in 214,291 annual kWh savings and a $42,366 first year savings.

Project Challenges Overcome:

To accomplish the CEO’s vision required first reducing the facilities’ energy usage by upgrading all existing lighting to LED and installing a building management system to control their HVAC. Their remaining usage was offset by a 86.4 kW rooftop solar system. The energy generated by the solar is stored in the battery and sent back to the grid at the times when energy costs are the highest to garner energy credits with the utility, which can be used to offset energy bills in low production/winter months. In the event of an emergency or utility outage, power export can be halted to allow the facility to provide critical care to the community. Concurrently with the implementation of these energy measures, a complete facelift of the facility was performed to install a training kitchen to teach low-income families how to prepare low-cost and nutritious meals.  For the duration of the work, the facility remained occupied and open to serve.  

Project Team:

Client  – San Benito Health Foundation

Developer  – Mynt Systems Building Performance

Contractor – Day One Solar

Consultant – ChargeBliss

Consulting Electrical Engineer – CONTECH-CA

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