Ind. prison uses solar power to heat water

CARLISLE, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana prison hopes to save $6,000 a year in energy costs by using solar power to provide hot water for inmate showers.

The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility has been heating the water in one maximum-security housing unit with solar panels through a project that began in February. The unit houses 200 inmates and has 15 solar panels that measure 4 feet by 10 feet mounted on the roof.

The Tribune-Star reports that the facility is installing meters on the solar system and on one in a different housing unit to compare their use of energy. The entire facility could be switched to solar-heated water if the data show savings.

The new system cost $75,000 and is expected to pay for itself within 15 years.

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