Solar will supply electricity to four California prisons this December, where SunEdison has begun construction.
More than 83,000 solar panels will generate 25 megawatts (MW) of electricity a year, saving taxpayers over $57 million over 20 years and offsetting a billion pounds of CO2.
SunEdison pays for construction and maintenance, and the prison locked in a low electricity rate for 20 years.
"These projects not only help the state save money during these lean economic times but will help stimulate the economy with new construction," says Chris Meyer, Director of Facility Planning, Construction and Management Division for California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison near Blythe each have a 1 MW solar PV system, installed in 2006 and 2008 respectively. They provide nearly 25% of the prisons’ total electrical demand.
Learn about solar at California prisons: