Kaiser to Cut Emissions with “Bloom Boxes”

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente plans to install “Bloom Boxes” in seven of its California facilities this year.


The 20, 200 kilowatt solid oxide fuel cell servers from Bloom Energy will generate 4 megawatts of energy total. The fuel cells run on natural gas and can also run on 100 percent directed biogas, a methane gas produced from landfill refuse and manure.


Bloom Energy will install the servers through its Bloom Electrons service, under which it owns and operates the Bloom Boxes, and will sell the energy to Kaiser while supplying the local natural gas transmission networks with biogas to offset greenhouse gas emissions.


Kaiser expects the Bloom Boxes to reduce each building’s electricity usage by 34 percent, and is integrating them as a sustainable source of energy in its energy portfolio, according to Don Orndoff, Kaiser’s senior vice president of national facilities services.


Last year, Kaiser announced it would deploy 15 megawatts of solar power at 15 of its facilities across California by the end of 2011, and earlier this month it turned on the first of those systems.


The company said its future energy sources could include thermal and wind energy.


Bloom says its boxes help clients cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 40 to 100 percent compared to the national grid and eliminate almost all SOx and NOx emissions while guaranteeing them low energy prices on a long-term basis.