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 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