Northern California Jail Goes Solar

Northern California Solar News – It always a sunny day when government agencies install solar. Yolo County in northern California was able to piece together a variety of clean energy bonds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and a 15-year, one percent interest loan from the California Energy Commission (CEC) in order to install a 1-megawatt (MW) solar energy system at its county jail in Woodland. Located north of Davis California and northwest from Sacramento, Woodland’s new 3,560-panel installation was completed and officially put online at a 9 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday morning. The feat was done at no out-of-pocket cost to the county.

The solar electric system was approved by Yolo County in February of this year and was completed in only six months. It is expected to produce 80 percent of the energy needs of the Yolo County Justice Center, which includes the Monroe Detention Center, Leinberger Memorial Center and the juvenile detention facility.

The commercial solar panels installed are said to be the most efficient solar panels on the market SunPower’s 305 modules. Thanks to a tracking system that follows the sun throughout the day, the solar panels receive as much as 25 percent more sunlight than a fixed panel array. The tracking system did cost more to install, but the extra output is expected to generate higher revenues through a performance-based incentive available under the California Solar Initiative.

Could we could be witnessing the start of a a new trend? Solar energy systems installed at correctional facilities? Earlier this month, the federal government it would install solar at two federal correctional buildings. One is in Fairton, New Jersey and the other is in Petersburg, Virginia. Are similar projects on the horizon?

From Get Solar