Baker Commercial Solar installed the complete 2,634 kW solar PV system for the Lancaster Prison. The PV system has a surface area of approximately 185,250 SF and includes 9,500 MEMC solar panels. The solar field is a part of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)’s “Going Green Initiative” which includes recycling and water conservation projects that is improving energy efficiency in 33 prisons by reducing electricity and natural gas use. The energy saving projects are paid for without the use of state general fund tax dollars and are financed with low- or no-interest loans, such as those from Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.
Despite high winds and heightened prison security requirements, the project was completed in only eight weeks. This was nearly a 50% reduction from the original construction schedule.
The Lancaster facility is one of five state prisons in Southern California that has added a combined 23 MW of solar-generated power in 2012, an initiative undertaken by SunEdison and the CDCR. These solar projects should result in $55 million in energy cost savings over the next 20 years, according to the CDCR.