Santa Rita Solar Grid Costs $11.7 Million to Build, Only Saves $100k per Year

Photo courtesy Living Off Grid, flickr

In July I wrote this short blurb about the solar project in Yosemite…

Just your average government project!

  • 2800 Solar panels
  • Producing 12% of Yosemite’s electricity
  • Saving $50,000.00 per year
  • Cost $5.8 million in stimulus

And you wonder why the federal government is out of money and needs more debt! It will only take 116 years to recover the expense in savings. What is the life of a solar panel?

Could this kind of genius calculation explain the debt crisis?

What is the best is our government, the EPA, is promoting this project on the local news!

And now today in the local paper is an article called, “Santa Rita Jail gets greener through own grid…”by Robert Jordan.

So the salient parts of this article are these…

The solar “grid” cost $11.7 million to build.  The funding came from a Department of Energy grant of $6.9 million, $2 million from the California Energy Commission, and $2.5 million in political extortion, oops I mean a grant from PG&E.

And do you know what this phenomenal project will deliver in annual savings? At least $100,000 per year is the way they put it.  Now $11.7 million, divided by $100,000 equals — I better get out my calculator because this is obviously higher math — Oh yeah… it will take 117 years for the payback for this expense…

It is amazing how much you can spend for the good of the world when it is not your money!

Does anyone need to say any more about this foolishness?

(Tom Loker served as the Chief Operating Officer of Ramsell Holding Corporation. Prior to joining Ramsell, Mr. Loker was the founder and senior partner of Wild Tiger Holding Company and Thomas Loker Consulting. Visit his website at and his blog at