DaVita® Stories

DaVita’s Renewable Energy Journey Has Begun!

DaVita is on a mission to go 100% renewable! This announcement was made last April at our annual leadership meeting, Villagewide and now that pledge is coming to life.

The project has broken ground at the El Campo wind farm in Texas. DaVita entered into a contract with Longroad Energy, who has mobilized to the El Campo wind farm site (west of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area) and has begun construction. During the next nine months roads will be built, concrete foundations will be poured and windmill towers and blades will be raised. When it’s all said and done, there will be 67 windmills spread across a six-by-six-mile area of ranchland, which is expected to procure approximately 310,000 megawatt-hours of clean green electricity annually. That’s equivalent to the amount needed to power half of the Village!

So what are the construction crews up to right now? From now until the end of the year, it’s all about the foundations. The largest windmills at this site will stretch almost 600 feet into the sky. For those who have been to DaVita’s headquarters in Denver, this is three times the height of Casa Vida, our second building. For comparison, imagine a 50+ story building – these windmills will be massive! To keep them upright, a large, strong foundation is needed and that’s what the construction crew is focused on now. They are excavating a 60-foot-wide and 10-foot-deep pit for each windmill. The base of the windmill will be placed on it. Prior to the installation, the foundation will be filled with concrete – 2 million pounds’ worth of it! So much concrete is needed that a temporary onsite concrete plant has been set up.

Excavation for windmill foundation

 

Temporary onsite concrete plant

 

As awe-inspiring as the size of these windmills is, what really inspires me is the tremendous positive impact this project will have – locally and globally. This project could create job opportunities in the local areas of Texas, and the tax revenue which is expected to help fund schools and hospitals. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions each year – expecting to help to fight climate change. I love working for a company that aspires to live the Trilogy of Care – caring for each other and our communities with the same intensity with which we care for our patients. That’s what this project is all about and I look forward to sharing more details in future blogs about this project.

Stay tuned and come along on this renewable energy journey! We will be sharing updates with our Village internally and externally, which will include project and construction updates.

You might be wondering how DaVita plans to go 100% renewable if only 50% is coming from the El Campo wind farm. Next summer we’ll break ground on a solar farm, which will help us reach our goal. We look forward to taking you along on that journey as well.

 

For more information: http://ow.ly/zcBY50wEREZ

Jeff Wilzbacher

Jeff Wilzbacher

Jeff is DaVita’s Energy & Sustainability Manager and a part of Team Genesis. He has led strategic energy initiatives for the Village since 2014. Jeff earned a BS in Engineering from Northwestern University & a MS in Environmental Management & Sustainability from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Jeff is most comfortable with a backpack on and has hiked from Mexico to Canada twice.