OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Corrections' efforts to improve sustainability by conserving energy and increasing efficiency at it's prisons are netting positive results. Maria Peterson, Communications Consultant says several projects are under way or have been recently completed that give incentives back to the department for energy savings.
One project of note was recently completed at Airway Heights Corrections Center through a partnership with the Department of Commerce’s energy office using a grant through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The $287,000 project improved lighting and visibility at the prison while using less power. This project was the first phase to a broader program of energy improvements for Airway Heights that will be installed in the coming year.
Over the long term, projects like this make the prison more energy efficient, at Airway Heights we made necessary improvements now to help the taxpayers for years to come. - Gary Myers of DOC’s Capital Programs division
All ARRA projects for state agencies are managed by Commerce staff members who document the results of the projects and report back to the Federal government.
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“We were glad to be able to partner with a sister state agency to save energy for the state of Washington,” said Cory Plantenberg, Department of Commerce’s energy program manager.
The Department will also receive $48,000 in utility incentives through an Energy Service Contract, or ESCO, for the Airway Heights Project. The ESCOs review projects prior to complete and certify that the energy upgrades to aging building will save energy. In most cases, DOC earns utility incentives for completing these projects.
Additional projects are under way at Monroe Correctional Complex. In addition, the Washington State Penitentiary is using solar hot water in their laundry and will have it in the new housing units and kitchen expansion. And Coyote Ridge generates electricity through solar power with panels mounted on their warehouse roof.