MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (CNRV) is helping to reduce its carbon footprint with its 4,000-panel solar tracking system.

“The solar array at CNRV continues to produce energy above projected capacity,” said Scott Blankenship, CNRV Facilities director. “In addition to reducing our demand for electric power from the grid and lowering the hospital’s energy bills, we will use the funds generated from the sale of the SRECs to reinvest in sustainability projects such as LED lighting upgrades.”

Secure Futures LLC wrote a check for $105,644 for the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) to the CNRV. These credits are given out based on the energy that is produced. For example, ” one SREC is generated for every megawatt-hour (MWh) or 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar electricity that a solar panel system produces,” according to the release.

This year, CNRV has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 5,368 metric tons and earned $113,633 from sales of SRECs.

“We’re happy to have worked with Carilion Clinic to build and operate the CNRV solar array,” said Anthony Smith, president of Secure Futures. “Selling the Solar Renewable Energy Credits lowers Carilion’s cost of power. And hosting a solar energy system that sends clean power onto the electric grid for other utility customers to use is proof of Carilion’s commitment to serve its communities.”

The panels were installed on farmland adjacent to the hospital in December 2017. According to Secure Futures LLC, these solar panels are expected to help save about $1.5 million over 20 years.

“We are so excited about our investment in solar energy,” said Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion president, and CEO. “It reduces operational expenses, producing savings that will ultimately help to reduce health care costs for our community. Hosting a solar array on our campus also makes clean energy available to other utility customers, which helps everybody benefit from solar power.”

The solar panels have helped CNRV produce 7,574,917 kWh of electricity, that’s enough energy to power 975 homes for a year.