California Prisons Adding 23 MW Of Solar Power With SunEdison

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has entered into five agreements that will add nearly 23 MW of on-site solar-generated power at the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, Calif.; Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, Calif.; North Kern State Prison in Delano, Calif.; and California State Prison, Los Angeles County, in Lancaster, Calif.

The expansion is anticipated to save taxpayers more than $55 million over the life of the contracts, according to CDCR. Construction and maintenance will be arranged by SunEdison, using no state general-fund tax dollars. The costs of the projects are further reduced by incentive dollars from California's investor-owned utilities, through the California Solar Initiative program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission. Â

The new projects will add more than 83,000 solar panels on the grounds of the five prisons, with construction expected to begin in 2012.Â

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