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Knox County detention facility adds solar power

A new solar farm will enable Knox County officials to harvest sunshine to meet the hot water demands at the county's 1,036-bed detention facility. Officials say the new solar thermal system, one of the nation's largest for domestic hot water according to FLS Energy ─ the solar company with which Trane worked on the project ─ will save $60,000 a year in natural gas expenses and reduce CO2 emissions by 174 tons annually.071610solar1_t607.jpg

The solar hot water installation features 300 solar collectors and produces and stores nearly 14,000 gallons of hot water a day for domestic use. Funding for the $1.88 million solar farm was provided through the US Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

News Sentinel writer Nash Armstrong attended the facility's grand opening last Thursday and has more information, including diagrams of the facility in his article at knoxnews.

Photo: Chet Hunt, of Hunt & Associates, gets a close look of the new solar panel farm at the Knox County Detention Center on Thursday. The farm is one of the largest solar thermal systems for domestic use in the nation.Photo by Michael Patrick/News Sentinel
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