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Cambria County Prison Explores Solar-Powered Future with 30% Cost Reduction

14 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

A solar-powered initiative at Cambria County Prison could slash electricity costs by 30%, potentially saving around $10,000 monthly.

Cambria County Prison Explores Solar-Powered Future with 30% Cost Reduction - Inmate Lookup

A solar-driven initiative at Cambria County prison holds the potential to slash the facility’s monthly electricity expenses by around 30%, translating to a saving of approximately $10,000, according to Cambria County Prison Warden Christian Smith.

In a presentation to the Cambria County Prison Board on Wednesday, Smith shared insights from an initial solar energy assessment conducted by Tremco, the firm responsible for recent prison roof renovations, and the BAI Group, an environmental consultant group specializing in civil engineering.

Having collaborated on similar ventures previously, Tremco and the BAI Group propose the installation of a solar array on the prison roof. Smith highlighted that the addition of supplementary panels on a hillside adjacent to the prison grounds could further elevate the projected savings to surpass 30%.

According to Smith, the proposed solar project would necessitate no upfront expenses for Cambria County. However, a predetermined agreement period to procure solar power would be a prerequisite for the purchase.

Smith said that if the project seemed promising, they would forward the information to the county commissioner’s office for review. He added that an engineering study of the roof be completed first to ensure it can bear the extra weight if a decision is made to move forward with the requests for proposals.

Addressing concerns about the structural impact, Smith assured that solar panels would be affixed to the roof using weighted ballasts, avoiding any penetration that could compromise the integrity of the new roof.

In the event of the commissioners endorsing the solar energy proposal, Smith estimated a timeline of one year for the arrival of project materials and an additional year for the installation and activation of the solar panels.