Plans have been set in motion for the City of Albuquerque to build a solar generating station as a means of reducing increasing energy costs in city government structures.
As discussed, the project would be done jointly with the Public Service Company of New Mexico, and would see the construction of a 50-megawatt solar plant.
The idea behind the project is a move to substantially reduce Albuquerque’s current energy expenses, which average out to around $1.2 million a month.
In a signed agreement with the PNM, the City of Albuquerque has committed itself to purchasing 25 megawatts of the electricity that would be produced by the new plant.
The project would also enhance Albuquerque’s commitment to expanding its renewable energy footprint.
How much the solar generating station would cost to build, and where it will be built, remains to be determined.
And before any actual facility work could begin, the project would have to secure the approval of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
According to the City of Albuquerque/ PNM announcement of the project, PNM will be in charge of issuing a Request for Proposals for the construction of the plant.
In a statement, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the new plant was important because “we have a responsibility to current and future generations to put the City on a path to sustainability.”
“With this plan,” Keller continued, “we’ll get Albuquerque a large part of the way to using only renewable energy.”
Keller added that the project made particular sense because it would be putting to use the city’s advantage of year-around sunshine.
The project will be a part of PNM’s larger Solar Direct program, which is dedicated to providing governments, tribes, and large electric customers with solar energy.
Pat Vincent-Collawn, chief executive officer of PNM Resources, said in a press release that the Solar Direct program shows that PNM is “committed to working with our customers to find solutions to their energy needs and making New Mexico a sustainable energy leader.”
By Garry Boulard
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