The smart grid system of the Santa Rita Jail integrates all of its on-site generation and advanced energy storage systems. It can power 100 percent of the jail's electrical needs during daylight hours.

The Santa Rita Jail is the first in the country to build its own all-inclusive smart grid. Located in Alameda County, the jail is the third-largest facility of its kind in California and the fifth-largest in the nation.

Several energy efficiency and renewable energy projects have been implemented since 2002, including solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines, a fuel cell cogeneration plant, an advanced energy storage system, and a 3,600 million British thermal units (BTU) solar hot water system.

See more information about Santa Rita Jail Smart Grid System.

Solar panels at Santa Rita Jail Santa Rita Jail fuel cell cogeneration plant Aerial view of the Santa Rita Jail

Photos of aerial view and fuel cell cogeneration plant courtesy of Alameda County. Photo of solar photovoltaic system courtesy of the California Energy Commission.



  • Reliable electricity for daily operations and security.
  • Islanding capability without the need to use emergency backup diesel generators.
  • Saves Alameda County approximately $100,000 per year in energy costs.

Key Developers and Partners

  • California Energy Commission
  • United States Department of Energy
  • California Public Utilities Commission
  • Alameda County's General Services Agency
  • Chevron Energy Solutions
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • California Independent System Operator
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • University of Wisconsin.

Type of Project

Smart grid, solar, wind, fuel cell, advanced energy storage, solar thermal


In operation.


Map of SantaRita Solar Electric Generating System in California


Alta Wind Farm Powers Homes


CleanWorld Sacramento BioDigester

Anaerobic digester

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

Solar photovoltaic

Electric Vehicles International

Electric vehicle manufacturing

Public Electric Vehicle Charging at the South Coast Air Quality Management District

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Santa Rita Jail

Smart grid/solar/wind/fuel cell/advanced energy storage/solar thermal

UC Davis West Village

Zero net energy mixed use, multi-unit housing communities