City of Santa Fe Nears Completion of 1 MW Solar Facility

Solar - City of Santa Fe - Sierra Club tour © Teresa Seamster

The City of Santa Fe will start up its new 1 MW solar electricity facility on January 1, 2011.

The City of Santa Fe will realize immediate cost savings with no upfront investment.

The Sierra Club's Cool Cities program worked closely with Nick Schiavo and city leaders in 2008 to initiate this project.

Nick Schiavo, the City's project leader and energy czar, led a tour of the facility for the Sierra Club on Friday, November 19.

Nick has been the leader of this project since its inception about two years ago. He said that it was easy to convince city leaders like Mayor David Coss and Councilor Chris Calvert that this was a very cost effective project that would save money for the city from day 1. Using a third party to finance the project, the City paid nothing up-front. It just pays for electricity as it is produced and the cost will be less than paying for the electricity directly from PNM. This facility will provide about 40% of the electricity used by the City's waste water treatment facility. The solar facility is directly across the street from the waste water facility on airport road. The facility occupies about 8 acres of land that is being rented from the airport that is nearby.