With states across the U.S. looking for ways to balance budgets and save money, the Colorado prison system could just be the model for cutting operational costs for the expensive institutions.
To date, nine state prisons in Colorado have installed photovoltaic (PV) solar panel arrays to generate solar electricity. Reducing reliance on grid-based power is both environmentally sound, and a sound investment. Experts predict that the state prison solar arrays will save Colorado taxpayers about $475,000 in utility bills over the 20-year life of the solar panels.
Not only that, but inmates may be offered the ability to work in the growing renewable energy field, by assisting with the installation of solar panels at the prisons. This valuable experience may even lead to a green job upon release, which can only help reduce recidivism rates.
Considering the vast stretches of land that usually surround correctional institutions, why not put some of that property to use with solar power arrays? State prison systems can save green, while they go green. Inmates and visitors can learn about the renewable resource, which may translate into a brighter future for all!