Solar power could help light up prisons

The proposed site for the solar panels
The proposed site for the solar panels

Nearly 13,000 solar panels could be used to help power two Vale prisons if plans for their installation are given the green light.

Two fields next to HMP Grendon are the proposed site for the panels, which would provide daytime electricity to that facility and HMP Springhill for around 25 years.

If given the go ahead, it is hoped the panels could be installed before May 2013. Aylesbury Vale District Council cabinet members will decide whether to advance the plans at a meeting on November 13.

It is thought the project will be funded with the help of Government incentives.

The array would not be able to provide all the prisons’ power needs in the night or during a surge in demand. Both prisons have generators that can be used at these times. Any excess daytime energy could be sold for use on the national grid.

It is hoped the project could provide work opportunities for prisoners at Springhill, who could help move panels and frames across site.

If cabinet approves the project, planning permission would still need to be granted, the lease of the land agreed and a rate charged for energy generated negotiated.