The Virginia Department of Corrections received a Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards for green energy training and other projects under a contract that pays energy service companies using funds saved by energy efficiency installations.
The money-saving energy installations include the largest solar thermal system in Virginia at the St. Brides Correctional Center, which provides hot water, and a wood waste system that heats hot water at the Augusta Correctional Center.
The department created an inmate training program in energy sector skills. The Green Learning Lab at Indian Creek Correctional Center, a partnership with Johnson Controls, Inc., provides mechanical equipment training to offenders and offers industry certification. More than 50 offenders have graduated, with 35 and counting finding employment upon their release.
The Virginia Department of Corrections previously received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for water savings, and participated in energy policy discussions with state and national stakeholders.
Our long term vision involves being a progressive and proven innovative leader in our profession. This includes the measures we have taken to be more energy efficient as well as the efforts we have made to train offenders to work in energy related fields,” said Harold Clarke, the department director.