New Mexico officials have announced the first phase of a $25 million solar investment in Albuquerque.
The announcement – made by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, City Councilor Pat Davis, Environment New Mexico, the Department of Municipal Development and the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich – calls for an investment of $5.2 million for solar panels at 12 different city-owned buildings.
The funding for these projects comes from Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS), a federal program designed to finance renewable energy projects. The bonds come with virtually no interest and will pay themselves off within 20 years in energy cost-savings, according to the city’s estimates. Currently, only 3% of Albuquerque’s energy comes from renewable sources, the city adds.
“Utilizing our incredible natural resource of sunshine to power our city is an incredible opportunity,” says Keller. “We need to continue to take steps toward becoming a net-zero city, to reduce our carbon footprint while also creating local jobs in the industry.”
Locations for projects in this first phase include fire stations, a library, a police academy and forensics lab, a community center, and a golf course. The projects will start in late to mid July and be completed in September. The library project will start in November and will be completed next February.
“I was proud to help secure the funding to make these investments in renewable energy projects,” says Heinrich. “I am excited to see Albuquerque take the lead in moving energy use by city facilities toward more sustainable and renewable sources. This will create new jobs and save taxpayer dollars. With our bountiful wind and solar resources, if we continue to make investments like this, New Mexico can become the epicenter of the clean energy economy.”