Donation adds solar system to hospital project

An expanded psychiatric hospital in Grand Junction will include a rooftop solar system, thanks to a gift from a donor who wants to remain anonymous.

“The gift of solar panels, allowing us to tap solar power, is a gift that will continue to give for years to come,” said Kim Boe, executive vice president of West Springs Hospital. “I can now add ‘solar’ to the list of efficient and effective innovations that are going into a state-of-the-art facility the Western Slope can be proud of.”

Construction is under way on a $34 million expansion that will add up to 64 beds at an inpatient center. The expanded facility will include a dedicated child and adolescent wing, indoor and outdoor recreation spaces, private rooms with private baths and enhanced visiting areas.

The rooftop-mounted photovoltaic solar system will include 68 panels and in-panel inverters and meet about an eighth of the annual electricity requirements for the hospital. The solar system has a lifespan of 30 to 50 years or more and is expected to save the hospital hundreds of dollars a month in energy bills.

“Solar generation of electrical energy translates down the road to reduce the amount of electrical energy that our utility company, Xcel Energy, must produce,” said Rob Jenkins, project representative for Mind Springs Health, which operates the hospital. “Xcel recognizes this contribution and will provide monthly renewable energy credits to Mind Springs Health over the next 20 years.”

Based in Glenwood Springs, Mind Springs Health offers counseling, therapy and other services in a 10-county region of Western Colorado. The organization operates 13 offices for outpatient treatments as well as the West Springs Hospital, the only facility of its kind between Denver and Salt Lake City. For more information about the Building Sanctuary, Rebuilding Lives campaign for the hospital project, visit the website located at www.BuildingSanctuary.org.