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"SolarWorld panels pedal Kaiser toward LEED Gold"

Solar panels from SolarWorld are among the sustainable elements that Kaiser hopes will secure Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification for the hospital when it is completed in 2013.

"SolarWorld panels pedal Kaiser toward LEED Gold"

The pedal power was intended to underscore the commitment to clean, green energy standards. (Photo by Michal Thompson/The Argus)

By Kurt Eckert
The Hillsboro Argus

>>click here to read original article

The political power came from the pedals as locally-manufactured solar panels were delivered Monday to what will soon be the region’s newest hospital.

The cycling cavalcade — led by Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey, SolarWorld Industries America Inc. President Gordon Brinser and Kaiser Foundation President Andrew McCulloch — followed two large-load bike trailers and a electric-powered pick-up carrying the new panels on the three-mile trip from SolarWorld Inc. to Kaiser Permanente’s Westside Medical Center.

More than 30 other representatives from both companies, plus employees from the hospital’s general contractor, Andersen Construction, also participated.

Solar panels from SolarWorld are among the sustainable elements that Kaiser hopes will secure Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification for the hospital when it is completed in 2013.

Brinser described the event as a way to highlight both organizations’ commitment to renewable energy, sustainability, health and local sourcing.

“Buying locally makes sense economically and environmentally,” Brinser said. “And whether your customer is three miles away or 3,000 miles across the country, buying from U.S. manufacturers keeps jobs in America and our carbon footprint low.”

When the $242 million, 126-bed Westside Medical Center at 19400 NW Evergreen Pkwy opens, it will be the first hospital completed in the Portland area in nearly 40 years. The facility will host a 102-kilowatt solar system comprised of 468 solar panels installed on the roof of its parking garage. Other sustainable features include environmentally-friendly carpet and paint, non-toxic construction materials and a water-conservation system, McCulloch said.

“We’re proud of all the sustainable design features of the new hospital, which will be the first LEED-Gold-certified health-care facility in the Portland area,” McCulloch said. “We’ve made this a local project whenever possible, and using an industry-leading supplier like SolarWorld, located just down the street, was the obvious choice.”

 
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