Wyoming Medical Center Success Story

WyomingMedicalCtr.jpgPictured are Leslie Blythe of Rocky Mountain Power and Mark Olson from Wyoming Medical Center.

With its highly skilled and engaged team of physicians, staff and volunteers, Wyoming Medical Center in Casper is relied upon for comprehensive care by thousands of people in the state.

The nonprofit medical center strives to advance the health and wellness of the community by providing excellent healthcare services, patient safety and experience at reasonable costs. Using energy wisely is an important part of fulfilling this mission.

“Energy efficiency translates into reduced operating costs for the hospital,” said Mark Olson, WMC facilities engineer. “It’s also an excellent way for us to be good stewards for our community – we take that responsibility very seriously.”

Lower energy use, fewer calls

To reach its goals, WMC has taken advantage of Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart® program to make energy-saving upgrades to its cooling plant – a major electricity user at the 719,000-square-foot facility.

“Wyoming Medical Center has the capacity to generate 1,500 tons of cooling. Think of that as being enough to provide air conditioning to approximately 750 homes in Casper,” said Olson.

To reduce the energy use of its cooling processes, the hospital has added variable frequency drives at its plant over the last several years with help from Rocky Mountain Power incentives. “Older constant drive units could not adjust to changing needs on our systems and were driving our demand costs up because of the initial power it took to bring them on line.”

The VFDs save the medical center approximately 551,200 kilowatt-hours per year in electricity. With the system running more efficiently, Olson reported overall comfort levels for the hospital have improved as well.

“We have more uniform temperatures and had a reduction in ‘hot and cold’ calls we receive,” he said.

Olson said the efficiency upgrades also will prove beneficial for the hospital’s new McMurry West Tower addition.

‘Like having a partner in business’

Wyoming Medical Center received approximately $37,400 in Rocky Mountain Power wattsmart incentives for installing the VFDs. The improvements are saving the medical center more than $19,600 in energy costs annually.

“Working with Rocky Mountain Power has been great – they are more like having a partner in business with us. The incentives helped make these retrofit projects more financially feasible,” Olson said.

“When customers become more energy efficient, it helps lower the demand on the electrical system,” said Leslie Blythe, Rocky Mountain Power customer and community manager. “It’s a winwin for everyone.”

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