Boston Medical Center, MIT agree to major renewable energy plan

Experts have long said industry leaders have a responsibility to take the lead on climate change, and now two major Boston-area healthcare providers have announced an aggressive plan to make their facilities greener.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology--which includes MIT Medical--and Boston Medical Center this week announced a 25-year arrangement to purchase the vast majority of their collective electricity from a 650-acre solar farm currently under construction in North Carolina, according to the Boston Business Journal.

MIT will buy about three-quarters of the farm’s power, with BMC buying 26 percent for its 296-bed facility. The remaining 1 percent purchased by Post Office Square Redevelopment Corp., according to the article. This energy will account for 100 percent of BMC and Post Office Square’s energy needs and 450 percent of MIT’s needs.

“This purchase is equivalent to 100 percent of BMC’s projected electric consumption, making us the greenest hospital in Boston and on pace to become the first carbon-neutral hospital in New England upon the completion of our campus redesign,” Robert Biggio, vice president of facilities and support services at BMC, said in an announcement. “This is the right thing to do for the quality of life and health of our patients and our planet.”

The decision comes in the wake of ongoing attempts at BMC to cut energy use, with the hospital renovating its campus with a goal of cutting its carbon emissions by 50 percent, and with the addition of the latest energy purchase, it will be carbon-neutral by 2018, according to the article.