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City of Albuquerque is #3 Solar City Per Capita

Big leap forward over the last year, 29 new projects in two years

May 27, 2020

A new study by the Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center named the City of Albuquerque as #3 of America’s Top Shining Cities with most photovoltaic solar (PV) installed per capita. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities 2020: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, and is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.

The City of Albuquerque jumps from the #10 spot on the list in the past year, now placing just behind Honolulu and San Diego. Albuquerque also ranks as #8 in total PV installed with 153.04 MW.

“We have a responsibility to current and future generations to build a cleaner, healthier, and more innovative Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “In just two years, we’ve built 29 new solar sites—a huge leap forward for this community. And we’re not slowing down. By 2022 we’ll be off-setting 80% of our energy use, and we’re building a giant solar farm with PNM, Silver City, and the Jicarilla Apache Nation. We set big goals for sustainability and we’re on track to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.”

Albuquerque has excellent natural conditions with its sunshine and high elevation to harness solar energy, and the leadership in office to make it happen.

“The Duke City has once again earned the title ‘Solar Star’,” said John Ammondson, State Director with Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. “Albuquerque’s leadership on solar has not only provided residents with clean, renewable power, but has also given other cities an excellent example on how to make it happen. Despite the current slowdown in solar development due to COVID-19, the remarkable progress of the past year is worth highlighting.”

The City is working to convert 100% of fleet vehicles to plug-in hybrids, EVs, and alternative fuel vehicles with plans to purchase more than 40 EV and hybrid vehicles to incorporate into the City fleet. The City will have a total of 40 EV charging stations running by early 2021.

“Solar is an area that we continue to excel in,” said Environmental Health Director, Ryan Mast. “In addition to growth of renewable energy production capacity, we’re continuing to make our city more sustainable with energy efficiency projects and increasing electric vehicle adoption.”

Mayor Tim Keller has also expanded sustainability efforts into the private sector, including the introduction of the Mayor’s Energy Challenge, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge.