California prison reduces carbon footprint

California’s prison system is aiming to be the greenest in the US as the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) already started installing 16 energy efficiency projects that expects to save more than 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 650,000 therms of natural gas and 22.5 million pounds of carbon-dioxide gases.

Completion of all projects is expected by the end of 2008 and are projected to result in $3.2 million in annual savings to California taxpayers, according to CDCR.

“These energy conservation and retrofit projects are great examples of the innovative public-private partnerships that I envisioned when issuing my Green Initiative Executive Order,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “By utilizing green technology, our prison system is improving the environment and maximizing taxpayer dollars, and it is my hope that others across the state and nation will follow this example.”

Wasco State Prison is also one of six California prisons slated to enjoy new solar power fields that will each produce more than one megawatt of electricity per year. CDCR currently has solar fields operating at Ironwood and Chuckawala Valley State Prisons, providing up to 25 percent of their power at peak demand.

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