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Published on December 9th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz


Company Hires Prison Inmates to Build Solar Modules

December 9th, 2008 by  

solar panels

Great news! If you’re sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, NY, you may have the opportunity to work in a solar module factory. Spire Corp. announced yesterday that it is putting $55 million towards the construction of a solar module factory at the Otisville prison.

Modules produced by the inmates in the turnkey photovoltaic factory will be used in government installations. If Spire’s venture is successful, it may be repeated in other prisons across the country.

Spire anticipates complaints from workers rights and environmental groups, but the company hopes that inmates will gain valuable training for solar industry jobs.

That, and Spire wants cheap, reliable labor.

Photo Credit: NREL 

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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