Alcatraz Goes Green

“The Rock” is famous for being inescapable. But now it has a new claim to fame. It’s the newest success of the National Park Services and US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory joint effort to bring clean energy to national parks and landmarks. Alcatraz Prison has gone green.

For the past 75 years the prison has been powered by diesel fuel ferried across the bay. But this year, Alcatraz installed 1,300 solar panels to power the tourist attraction. The roof of the main Cellhouse building is now home to a 307 kW photovoltaic array and two 2,000 amp hour battery strings and an inverter plant. The system will produce close to 400,000 kW a year and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 337,000 kilograms a year. And as if that wasn’t enough, the pv project only costs about 71 cents a kW hour– including the captial costs of buying and installing the solar panels.

  • Bill Scanlon’s Solar Cells Light up Prison Cells on the Rock at Renewable Energy World
  • Justin Gerdes’ Solar Powered Microgrid Slashes Alcatraz Island’s Dependence On Fossil Fuel at Forbes
  • Stimulus Cash helps Alcatraz Capture Sunlight at NPR

This post was originally published in Developing Green Communites.

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