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Correctional facility paves the way with solar energy

KAIT 8 // May 9, 2019

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - An Arkansas correctional facility is saving more than futures, they’re saving money.

Solar power is at work at the Northeast Arkansas Community Correction Center in Osceola.

Six large panels can be seen on the ground outside the facility.

The energy is powering about 40% of the center, meaning it’s almost halfway off the grid.

They were installed as part of the agency’s energy upgrades through a contract with Entegrity.

Those upgrades are being paid for with the savings they are creating.

Warden Terry Mapes said things are going well so far.

“We haven’t had any problems with it,” Mapes said. “Things seem to be working very well.”

They began looking into the idea about a year ago.

The solar panels went online in February.

But this isn’t the only change Mapes said they’ve made.

Their current air conditioning system is more energy efficient and the entire facility has been converted to LED lighting.

“With the addition of the solar panels,” Mapes said. “We’re hoping to see savings up to 40%.”

Mapes said their future plans are looking into additional programs and educational opportunities.

Six solar panels are sitting outside the Northeast Arkansas Community Correction Center in Osceola
Six solar panels are sitting outside the Northeast Arkansas Community Correction Center in Osceola (Source: Northeast Arkansas Community Correction Center via Facebook)

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