Solar energy, water, lighting projects honored
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recently accepted the “Cool Planet” award from the Climate Registry and Southern California Edison (SCE) for solar energy, lighting, recycling and construction projects that have reduced the department’s energy use by 13 percent since 2003, water use by 1.6 billion gallons a year compared to 2010, and greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 55,000 metric tons between 2010 and 2014.
These achievements exceed the state’s short-term goals and are ahead of schedule to meet more stringent goals by 2020.
“We believe we have a responsibility to be a leader among state agencies for environmental stewardship and are proud of our partnership with SCE and others on projects that are reducing pollution, saving energy and also saving taxpayers millions of dollars in the process,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “The incentive and rebate programs available through SCE have helped us to finance the projects and to implement them on an accelerated time scale.”
Among the efforts recognized by the award:
- Solar photovoltaic arrays constructed at 12 prisons since 2006 that generate more than 33.6 megawatts, enough to power at least 7,300 homes, and that will save taxpayers more than $75 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years;
- Eighty-four energy-efficiency projects installed since 2008 that cut energy costs by $6.7 million per year;
- Since 2010, constructed and renovated 18 buildings to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Gold or Silver LEED-NC certification and another four buildings to Gold or Silver LEED-CI/EB certification;
- Drought management and water conservation projects, including installation of low-flow technology and other water restrictions in prisons, reducing water use throughout CDCR by 25 percent, or 1.5 billion gallons per year since 2013;
- An overall reduction in 2014 greenhouse gas emissions of 12 percent since 2010, beyond the 10 percent goal for 2015 set for all state agencies by Governor Brown, and ahead of schedule to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
“The State of California has shown tremendous political leadership and conviction on climate change over the years and the need to take action is as urgent as ever,” said David Rosenheim, Executive Director of the Climate Registry, during presentation of the Cool Planet awards in Los Angeles.
(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)
Learn more about the award, https://www.theclimateregistry.org/programs-services/cool-planet-project/cool-planet-award/