MNN Galleries

14 green prisons

Photo: pshab/flickr

12 of 16

Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Calif.

The rooftops of the enormous Santa Rita Jail are covered with one of the nation’s largest solar-electric systems. About 1.2 megawatts of electricity are pumped back onto the grid when the solar-electric system is combined with fuel cell technology — providing electricity to an energy-starved part of northern California. Triplepundit.com explains how the jail’s solar-electric system is paying off by relieving electric stress on Alameda County during peak usage times. Renewable Energy Access reports that Santa Rita’s system will save Alameda County $15 million over the next quarter century.