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Solar Powered Prison Facilities Save $55M

In addition to educational programs for prisoners, California’s “Con College” will give an opportunity for prisoners to lower their carbon footprint. The CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) will be adding 23 megawatts of solar-generated power at five state prison facilities in Southern California. The CDCR has estimated that the solar projects will save taxpayers more than $55 million over the long term.

Secretary of the CDCR, Matthew Cate said, “These projects demonstrate our continued commitment to reducing operational costs…The energy-conservation strategy we have been pursuing for many years is starting to pay big dividends at a time when there are competing priorities for limited state resources.” The largest solar energy service provider in the United States, SunEdison has signed agreements to install and operate the new solar-power systems at the following prison facilities:
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison – Blythe, CA
Ironwood State Prison – Blythe, CA
California Correctional Institution – Tehachapi, CA
North Kern State Prison – Delano, CA
California State Prison, Los Angeles County – Lancaster, CA

With these new projects, over $83,000 in solar panels will be implemented on the grounds of five prisons with construction set to start in 2012. Sounds like a great way to loosen up our stronghold on global warming!

Photo Courtesy of Dar
Photo Courtesy of InternationalRivers