Solar panels powering detention facility could yield big savings for county
As part of the deal, Honeywell will install a 746-kilowatt solar array near the Claybank Adult Detention Facility in the San Francisco Bay area, and the company will sell the electricity produced by the panels to the county for use in the detention facility, according to Honeywell.
The solar array is expected to generate nearly 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually—enough energy to power more than 100 homes per year. According to Honeywell, the solar array will supply more than 60 percent of the electricity necessary to run the detention facility, and it will significantly reduce energy costs during peak consumption when utilities typically charge a premium.
Honeywell will install the solar array close to the detention facility, on a former military site that has been converted into a parking lot for local school buses. The company noted that it will build bus ports on the lot and place the solar panels on top of the structures, generating renewable energy and providing shade for the vehicles.
“We’re taking land that can’t be developed and putting it to good use,” said Jason Campbell, facilities manager for Solano County. “Not only are we using green energy, but we’re doing it in a smart, sensible way.”
Honeywell expects to install the solar panels and begin providing Solano County with electricity by September. After the 20-year agreement expires, the county can continue purchasing electricity from Honeywell or acquire ownership of the panels.
“Solano County is committed to using renewable energy wherever we can to offset greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said John Vasquez, Solano County supervisor. “It’s also a wise financial decision. The new solar array will help us lower and stabilize operating costs, allowing us to focus more resources on serving our residents.”
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Solano County has a population of 411,680.
Substantial environmental benefits
Honeywell noted that the new array will deliver substantial environmental benefits as well, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 14,500 metric tons over the course of the contract. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing nearly 3,100 cars from the road for a year or planting more than 12,000 acres of trees.
With this solar installation, the county will bring its power generation capacity to more than 1 megawatt through renewable energy technology. The county has two other solar electric facilities: a 230-kilowatt system on the roof of the Solano County Health and Social Services Department building, and a 120-kilowatt array on the parking structure of the Solano County Government Center.
“Identifying the right renewable energy technology to meet a customer’s unique requirements, and doing it in a fiscally responsible way, is our goal in helping customers go green,” said Kent Anson, vice president of global energy for Honeywell Building Solutions. “Solano County will benefit for years to come from the financial and environmental benefits this project will deliver.”