Power plant numbers need clarification
Re: “Sharp Hospital goes off the grid” [Volume 6, Issue 12 or bit.ly/2i64xC1]
I read your article on the new power plant at Grossmont Hospital. It doesn’t make sense to me but I don’t have the figures.
The hospital pays $180,000 monthly to SDG&E ($43,000,000 over 20 years). The facility cost $47,000,000.
Interest on tax exempt bonds should be somewhat over 2 percent about $960,000 each year. The interest will drop as the principal is paid off. Let’s guess $13,000.000.
Perhaps the power plant does not run unattended. One person at $100,000 annually with fringe benefits times five people (needed to keep one staff member on duty at all times) $500,000 annually or $10,000,000 for 20 years.
The natural gas needed to power the plant isn’t free. What do you think? Perhaps $400,000 each year or $8,000,000 for the period we discussed.
How about insurance? What about $50,000 or $1,000,000 for 20 years?
Let’s talk about service contracts. Solar charged $18,000,000. Perhaps $80,000 annually. You got it $1,600,000.
Your article explained a byproduct is free heating and chilling. Isn’t that a part of the current SDG&E bill?
No problems if SDG&E goes down. Everything breaks at some point. The hospital will need to maintain their current generators. Not mentioned in the article.
Also, the plant reduces pollutants by 90 percent. While that is probably true I am not aware of any generating plants in East County. Therefore, am I correct the 10 percent pollutants released by the plant will be expelled in East County and somewhere else will get the benefits of reduced pollution — not you or me?
Now I know I am guessing at the numbers, but I’ll bet I’m pretty close. I probably forgot some expenses too. Can we get the actual numbers?
My guess, we taxpayers and patients get stuck with $32,600,000 over 20 years.
It’s our money folks!
—Jim Elliott, La Mesa
Interesting article about Sharp Hospital in the La Mesa Courier. How misleading can an article be?
Free power forever? “Zero” as you stated in a well-worded statement.
Ninety percent reduction in greenhouse gas. Were you fed this info, or did you just make it up yourself?
The gas company is giving them free natural gas? Extra employee or two to run the plant for free? Etcetera.
The hot exhaust has no greenhouse gas? Are you kidding me. This little power plant runs 10 times as efficient as a SDG&E power plant?
Answers please. What is the net cost saving per month? My guess, with all maintenance and depreciation? Negative 20 percent.
When I see such a misleading article, I am compelled to speak out.
—Jerry Kay, La Mesa