Boulder eyes solar cells for its jail cells |

Boulder eyes solar cells for its jail cells

BOULDER, Colorado – It’s probably not enough to make the inmates want to stay, but Boulder County hopes to install solar panels and a biomass heating system at the jail to cut utility costs.

County commissioners want to take out zero-interest loans backed by the federal government for $6.1 million in environmental upgrades to several buildings, including the jail.

They hope to cut the jail’s $250,000-a-year utility bill in half.

The jail would get a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system, a biomass burner to generate heat from trees killed by beetles, energy improvements to lighting and cooling systems and an insulated, reflective roof.

Commissioner Will Toor says the loan to finance the improvements won’t increase taxes.

Voters will be asked next month to approve the plan.

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