Monday, May 23, 2011

California Prisons Install Solar Panels

More than 83,000 solar panels will be installed at five California prisons, a project that is expected to save state taxpayers $55 million over the 20-year life of the contracts.

The corrections department said Friday the panels will generate enough electricity to power more than 81,000 homes. An equivalent amount of fossil fuel power would release as much carbon dioxide as 90,000 vehicles produce in a year.

Excess power generated will be sold into the state's electricity grid. The contractor, SunEdison, will pay for installation and split profits from the sales with the state.

The move is part of California's effort to get one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The five prisons are Chuckawalla Valley, Ironwood, California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, North Kern and Los Angeles County.


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