Thursday, July 22, 2010

Federal Prison Gets Prisoner-Made Solar Panels

Constellation Energy flipped the switch on a 400 kilowatt solar installation at a Federal Correctional Institution in Fairton in Cumberland County yesterday.

Inmates from the jail, a medium security facility housing male prisoners, with an adjacent minimum security prison camp, provided labor to install the panels alongside union construction workers, the Baltimore-based energy products and services company said today.

The photovoltaic panels were manufactured by an inmate workforce at a factory in a prison in Otisville, N.Y., a medium security state prison also housing male offenders.

The Fairton project was one of two recently completed Constellation contracts at federal correctional institutions, the other was in Petersburg, Va. Both programs combined energy and water conservation measures that included solar panels, as well as adding other renewable technologies to reduce utility costs and improve sustainability at the facilities, the company said. Combined annual cost savings for both facilities will exceed $2.2 million.

In Fairton, Constellation Energy combined a solar photovoltaic power system with facility-wide electrical upgrades, efficient lighting, smart energy controls, water conservation measures, and improvements to the boiler and chiller plants. The Fortune 500 company estimates the facility will reduce energy use by 27 percent and water use by 42 percent, creating more than $800,000 in estimated annual energy cost saving.

The Federal Correctional Institution in Fairton is located in rural south central New Jersey, 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia, Pa., and 40 miles west of Atlantic City, N.J. Both the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg and the facility in Fairton are part of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.


1 comment:

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