Solar power eyed for Miller County jail

Miller County commissioners are checking into the possibility of installing solar panels and a energy-efficient water heating system at the Miller County Justice Complex in Tuscumbia.

Miller County commissioners are checking into the possibility of installing solar panels and a energy-efficient water heating system at the Miller County Justice Complex in Tuscumbia. Photo by Samantha Edmondson.

The Miller County Justice Complex may receive a solar-powered system in the near future to help reduce its high water-heating costs.

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County commissioners met last week with Dan Mills of Energy Engineering Technologies Inc., who gathered data for a feasibility study to install solar panels and an energy-efficient water heating system at the jail complex in Tuscumbia.

According to Miller County Second District Commissioner Brian Duncan, the commission estimated $2,000 of the jail’s $7,000 monthly electric bill went to heating water.

“By installing such a solar panel system we could save 50 percent on what we currently use toward electricity on heating water or $1,000 a month,” Duncan said. “Over a two-year period, we could save $25,000 with such a solar panel system at the jail; that is a lot of money.”

Duncan said they are looking at a system that would include solar panels that sit on top of the Miller County Justice Complex and warm water in large storage containers. He added this would allow the water heater to stay off unless necessary.

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