Dramatic recreation of a Santa Rita Jail scene.
Ty MucklerDramatic recreation of a Santa Rita Jail scene.

At the Atlantic, Todd Woody calls the Bay Area’s Santa Rita Jail “perhaps the world’s greenest modern jail.” According to Woody, Santa Rita basically powers itself. It’s got a huge rooftop solar array, five wind turbines, and two batteries to store the power generated and keep the lights on at all times. It’s connected to the grid but can also operate independently if San Francisco’s power goes down. And the program manager says that this is all saving $100,000 per year.

While one might quibble about whether any project that involves incarcerating 4,000 people in a high security facility that we’re guessing takes a lot of juice to keep running can truly be called “green,” it is fair to say that this one is doing a better job at using clean energy resources than most. But where do they keep the backyard chickens?

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