California prison gets solar power plant

May 28, 2008 at 2:14 PM
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BLYTHE, Calif., May 28 (UPI) -- Ironwood State Prison officials in California say they've activated a new 1.18 megawatt solar power plant.

The ground-mounted, photovoltaic plant that will produce more than 2.4 million kilowatt hours during its first year is the result of a public-private partnership with the SunEdison Co. of Beltsville, Md.

SunEdison financed, constructed and will operate the solar energy system. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation therefore avoids all upfront capital costs and will purchase the solar energy at predictable prices equal to or less than current retail rates, officials said.

SunEdison said its solar power system will produce no greenhouse gases, no noise and will use little to no water in operation.

Officials said the facility, during the next 20 years, is expected to produce more than 43 million kilowatt hours of solar energy, the equivalent of powering 4,107 homes and removing 3,770 cars from the road for one year.

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