Albuquerque City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton, along with U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., have announced the city will soon get started on an effort to equip dozens of city buildings with solar panels. Once operating, the panels would significantly cut the city’s power bill, according to Davis.
Davis said he and Benton will file legislation allowing the city to issue $25 million in renewable energy bonds. Albuquerque has also secured federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), which could allow it to double its funding. The money will go toward installing the solar panels.
This will be the first step in fulfilling a goal set by the City Council last December for Albuquerque to get 25% of its energy from solar. The city currently gets 3% of its energy from solar, according to advocacy group Environment New Mexico.
The first phase of the project is projected to create 135 jobs in Albuquerque and save taxpayers over $20 million over 30 years.
“I am proud to secure these bonds to help the City of Albuquerque install dozens of new solar projects on city facilities,” said Heinrich. “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.”