Construction on a power grid that’s slighted to save the Santa Rita Jail more than $100,000 per year is now complete. The project combines power from a number of sources, including diesel generators, solar panels, wind turbines and fuel cells. A jail spokesperson said the power grid is capable of operating independently from electric plants.
According to a recent report, not only does this allow the Santa Rita Jail to take advantage of cleaner energy sources, it presents significant savings from running power off the “conventional grid”.
A source close to the project said the grid presents safety nets far beyond back up generators and diesel generators. California is no stranger to rolling blackout; this will ensure the power needs of the Santa Rita Jail are met during times of peak demand. A blackout at any detention facility, they said, could prove disastrous.
The grid was paid for in part by a a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and was constructed with the help of Chevron Energy Solutions. The Santa Rita Jail also received funding from the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Department. A Chevron spokesperson said one of the most unique features of the project is the ability for the jail to add additional solar, batteries, or generator sources to the grid down the road.