The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is making strides in an attempt to add renewable energy to its generation mix.
City councillors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton announced that Albuquerque is set to install over US$25 million worth of solar projects on city buildings. These installations will stand as the first phase in the city’s plan to reach the City Council’s goal of generating 25% of Albuquerque’s energy use from solar by 2025.
These projects will be financed through the energy savings and federal bond credits, with the installations being developed at no cost to taxpayers.
The first phase of the PV portfolio is expected to create 135 jobs in Albuquerque and save taxpayers over US$20 million over 30 years. The initial phase is expected to begin in late 2017, with completion slated by 2019.
US Senator Martin Heinrich noted: “I am proud to secure these bonds to help the City of Albuquerque install dozens of new solar projects on city facilities. These projects will save taxpayers’ money and help fuel our state’s growing solar industry. New Mexico added over 1,000 new solar jobs in 2016 alone. With our wind and solar resources, the Land of Enchantment can and should be the epicenter of the United States clean energy economy. If we make the right decisions now, we can create thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico.”
Davis added: “Producing our own energy through solar makes sense for the City. It makes sense for our environment and our economy. I’m proud to say we are making Albuquerque a cleaner, greener city, while also creating over 100 local jobs and saving tax payers millions on our electricity bill. I’m proud to be leading a project that will make Albuquerque a solar leader and an example for the rest of the country.”
A new report released by Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center ranked Albuquerque No. 9 amongst American cities based on the amount of solar energy installed, with 82MW providing clean energy in the city by the end of 2016. There are currently 102 solar companies located within New Mexico.