US Prison Getting Tough On Energy Usage

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If you believe prisons to be antiquated, neglected, old buildings, you might just have to think again. In fact, one detention centre in the US is so forward-thinking it has just agreed to spend $45 million on energy efficiency measures.

As Clean Technica reports, the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida, is to implement water conservation measures and solar photovoltaics alongside energy efficiency systems as part of an agreement with Constellation Energy.

It's reported that fulfilment of the contract, which was drawn up and awarded by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, will save the bureau around $79 million in energy costs over the next 19 years.

The announcement comes shortly after news that the US Navy and Air Force recently commissioned 120 MW of new solar energy projects in the Sunshine State, with the benefits of green energy seemingly overpowering the political debate against adoption of the technologies.

The efficiency measures are expected to reduce the Coleman complex's energy intensity by 35% and water intensity by 50%: electricity use will fall by 18 million kWh, with water use set to be reduced by 194 million gallons annually. This would avoid an estimated 323,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the term of the contract, according to Constellation.

The conservation measures are wide-ranging and include: high-efficiency (LED) lighting, building automation controls, chiller plant optimisation, cooling tower upgrades, hot water heating system upgrades, high efficiency transformers, low-flow toilets and taps, refrigeration upgrades and the solar array. Work is expected to be completed some time in 2017.

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