Archive for December, 2014

Cogeneration Project gets Green Light at North Bay Regional Health Centre

The North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) has approved the construction and operation of a new state of the art, Cogeneration Power Plant. This project is a partnership with North Bay Hydro Services, North Bay Hydro Distribution Ltd., Plenary Group and Johnson Controls. The health centre will own the facility and North Bay Hydro Services will design and operate it.

The Cogeneration concept has been in the proposal stage for approximately four (4) years and was recently passed by the NBRHC Board of Directors. This $6M plant will operate for more than 20 years and construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.

Due to the partnership with North Bay Hydro, the project is eligible for $2.4M in incentives through North Bay Hydro’s conservation programs…a significant rebate towards the overall project, not to mention the long term efficiency benefits of an operation of this type.

Cogeneration is using one fuel (Natural Gas) to produce 2 outputs – electricity and water. Natural gas is burnt in a large engine, which spins a generator, producing electricity. Heat is recovered from the engine, for free, which is used to help meet the hot water needs of the hospital, such as space heating, hot water for cooking and cleaning, etc.

To put into perspective the magnitude of this project, energy from this plant has the ability to generate enough electricity and heat to supply the energy needs of 1350 homes per year. Its overall efficiency is excellent as it operates at about 85-90% efficiency range, whereas, electricity from a Nuclear Plant, is around 30-40%.

The benefits to NBRHC include more back up power during emergencies, stable and cheaper utility costs as well as new, state of the art infrastructure which will extend the life of existing systems. In recent emergencies, such as the Toronto ice storm, key operations at many hospitals were in jeopardy and had to be closed down. With this new power plant, such events would not hinder the overall operation of the health centre as the plant will have the ability to meet 85% of its power needs. Under the current structure, it can only provide up to 40%.

Ontario Hospital Association President and CEO visits North Bay

The President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), Anthony Dale met with the North Bay Regional Health Centre Board and leadership Friday.

Much of the discussion focused on service delivery changes that have been happening in hospitals, across the province.

NBRHC Board discussion with Dale

“Walking down the halls in your facility I was blown away. You have a magnificent asset with a unique array of services that can play more and different roles in providing health services,” Dale told the Board.

Dale said the OHA supports Health System Funding Reform but at the same time recognizes that this is a big change for hospitals. However, in a zero-percent funding environment, hospitals must either adjust their services or change the way they deliver them.

“Proper capacity planning is needed in order for our health system to be effective. It’s about understanding the right mix of services and resources needed in a community, including the number of hospital beds, long-term care homes, assisted living spaces, home care hours needed, primary care and mental health services available,” said Dale.

Bd Chair Michael Lowe w DaleHospitals, with their respective health system partners, have already begun to work together in new models of care to better integrate the services required by their clients and communities, including Local Health Hubs. A Health Hub is a local, integrated health service delivery model where most, if not all sectors of the health system, are formally linked in order to improve patient access.

Moving to a local Health Hub model offers a number of benefits to patients, including: collaboration with public health to help address the broader health care needs of the community; and better support for quality improvement planning for local health systems in rural and Northern Ontario.

“We encourage the expansion of these innovative models of care that facilitate faster and easier movement of patients from a hospital bed to community care, and that also result in better and more cost-effective outcomes. The time is right to examine and consider new models of care, while at the same time being mindful of the impact on all health care providers,” said Dale.

The President and CEO of NBRHC and the NBRHC Board Chair are pleased that Dale took time to visit North Bay and meet with the Board. “The OHA represents the best interests of Ontario hospitals, supporting best practices, providing education and making our case to government and partner organizations. Anthony’s visit to North Bay is strong evidence of his commitment to represent the diverse needs of Ontario hospitals,” said Paul Heinrich, President and CEO, NBRHC.


Kathy Stackelberg
NBRHC Senior Communications Specialist
705-492-1235 (cell)