As one of the world's largest private real estate developers, Hines strives to be the industry leader in sustainability and the premier real estate company in the world. Hines evaluates and deploys new technologies, using its experience to reduce or eliminate cost premiums of "green" construction, while operating equipment at maximum efficiency to achieve payback on capital expenditures. The 13-story, 415,000-square-foot, LPL Financial at La Jolla Commons will be powered by Bloom Energy fuel cells and become what is believed to be the largest net-zero energy commercial office building to date.
Hines needed a reliable and carbon-neutral power source that could provide 24x7 power for the building. The fuel cells convert the methane gas into electricity through a highly efficient, non-combustion, carbon-neutral process. The Bloom system will generate over four million kWh of electricity annually. By using 100 percent renewable power, Hines and LPL Financial will reduce carbon emission by 4.5 million pounds and save 3.4 million gallons of water each year compared to the U.S. grid.
The project is the result of extensive collaboration between Hines and LPL Financial and leading engineering firm WSP. Bloom Energy installed a 500kW system and worked with Hines to source biogas, making the system 100 percent renewable to support the carbon neutral and LEED® certification goals of the project. The power capacity of the Bloom Energy Servers combined with the high-performance building design will generate more electricity than the building and tenant will use. The surplus renewable energy will be exported back to the utility grid for use by local San Diego consumers.