California correctional system touts energy-saving efforts

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May 9, 2022 – Contact FacilitiesNet editorial staff »

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) used this year’s Earth Day celebration to tout its sustainability program, which set up the system to produce a quarter of its energy needs from from renewable sources by 2025.

Over the past nine months, CDCR reduced water use in its facilities by approximately 9%. The completion of water conservation projects at four different facilities is expected to reduce annual water consumption in the system by 66 million gallons.

The water conservation project is the latest achievement in a program that began five years ago and focused on improving the system’s energy efficiency.

During this time, CDCR installed more than 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports as well as an EV arc beam system at Folson State Prison. The system generates solar power and stores clean electricity for electric vehicle charging and use as a backup generator.

Going back further, CDCR has completed 115 energy efficiency projects since 2006, saving about $9 million a year in utility costs and reducing annual electricity consumption by about 81 million kilowatt hours and 2.6 million therms of natural gas.

CDCR has 18 institutions with state solar photovoltaic systems and is the first and only state department to install wind turbines.

The system also has 71 buildings that have achieved LEED Silver certification or higher.

Dave Lubach is editor, Facility Market.


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