MILWAUKEE - The Utah Department of Corrections has installed a wind meter at Utah State Prison's Draper Facility to determine the wind's potential for providing the prison with energy savings. The Department of Corrections worked with Johnson Controls Inc. on the installation, which kicks off the last stage of a three-phase pilot energy efficiency project.

According to Johnson Controls, due to the prison's proximity to Point of the Mountain in Salt Lake City, the facility is well situated for renewable energy resources. These include a 185-degree geothermal source below the prison and an above average Utah wind resource. Johnson Controls will perform a technical audit of energy use and potential savings that will include an analysis of the renewable options. If, after a year of monitoring, the wind speed averages over 13 mph, the company will install a wind turbine to supplement power at the prison.

The first phase of the Draper Prison project began in July 2003 and will end in May 2004. It includes connecting four of the facilities to a renewable geothermal heating source. Phase one will overlap with phases two and three. Phase two of the project involves expanding the geothermal system to other buildings. Phase three entails installing wind-powered generation.

Johnson Controls is providing engineering analysis and design, installation, and financing for energy improvements throughout the prison complex. Through a performance contract, the Department of Corrections pays for the improvements over time from the energy cost savings. From phase one alone, the prison is expected to realize an estimated $6.5 million in cost savings that will be used to pay for the improvements. The expected savings from phases two and three have not yet been determined, but benefits include added upgrades and retrofits to Draper Prison.

Publication date: 12/08/2003