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AHN, Peoples Natural Gas Announce Plans for Innovative Green Energy Solution to Power New Wexford Hospital

Monday, February 17, 2020

Onsite energy plant will supply hospital’s energy needs while reducing the facility’s carbon footprint and increasing patient safety

PITTSBURGH – Residents in Pine Township and the surrounding areas will have convenient access to a wide range of clinical services when AHN Wexford Hospital opens next year. Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Peoples Natural Gas (PNG) officials announced today that the hospital will also be powered by an onsite, state-of-the-art and environmentally-friendly energy solution.

Construction of a natural gas-fired electric power generation, heating and cooling facility is currently underway on the future Wexford Hospital’s campus. A combined heat and power (CHP) system within the 18,000 square-foot, two-story power plant facility will simultaneously produce up to two megawatts of electricity and thermal energy onsite to meet all of the facility’s energy needs including electricity, heat, chilled water, hot water and steam.

“At AHN, we strive to be good corporate citizens in every endeavor we take to invest in our facilities and expand access to care in the communities we serve,” said Allan Klapper, MD, president, Wexford Hospital. “As we prepare to open a world-class hospital in Pine Township, we are extremely pleased to partner with Peoples Natural Gas to power the facility with an environmentally responsible energy solution that will greatly benefit the region and its many residents.”

The Wexford Hospital power plant project has been supported by a $1.8 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Environmental Protection as part of the Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) program. The program provides financial assistance for utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects in the commonwealth.

According to PNG, the combined heat and power system offers a number of benefits compared to conventional electricity and thermal energy production, including increased efficiency achieved from the onsite generation which eliminates wasted energy during typical transmission and distribution.  The system also reduces emissions of greenhouses gases and air pollutants.

In the event of a grid disruption, the system will provide a redundant source of power to the hospital, supporting continuous operations and maximizing patient safety.

“Peoples is proud to partner with AHN to help bring this amazing new hospital to life in an environmentally friendly way for the residents of Wexford and the surrounding region,” said Morgan O’Brien, president and CEO, Peoples Natural Gas. “Innovation is at the heart of many new developments currently underway in or planned for our region, and AHN’s Wexford Hospital is a great example of that vision and commitment to its future.”

Construction of the plant is expected to be complete by the end of this year, meeting all of the hospital’s energy needs as construction of the hospital proceeds towards its expected completion in 2021.   

AHN Wexford Hospital will offer comprehensive women and infant care, including labor and delivery services; advanced cardiac, neurosurgical, orthopaedic, and cancer care; a 24-room emergency department and short-stay observation unit; an adult intensive care unit (ICU); operating rooms that provide minimally-invasive robotic surgical capabilities; 160 all-private inpatient rooms; and a host of other patient- and family-friendly clinical programs, amenities and services.

“The Township of Pine is excited that AHN and Highmark Health have made a significant investment in transforming health care in this region and is doing so in a way that also prioritizes the health and wellbeing of the environment,” said Larry Kurpakus, Director of Code Administration and Land Development, Township of Pine.

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About Peoples Natural Gas

Peoples is an energy provider serving approximately 740,000 homes and businesses in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. The company’s mission is to improve the lives of its customers and to help build long-term economic growth for the regions it serves. For more information about Peoples, visit www.peoples-gas.com and follow Peoples on social media @peoplesnatgas.