Renewable Energy

Information about renewable energy initiatives at the City of Albuquerque.

"These projects show Albuquerque as a City committed to economic development and job growth while maintaining fiscal responsibility. We cannot ask our citizens to move toward renewable energy without leading the way. I challenged the Department of Municipal Development to find the ‘low hanging fruit’ first, and then move on to getting the biggest return for the taxpayer dollars we’re investing. I look forward to seeing their continued successes to save taxpayer money while still providing quality basic services to the citizens of Albuquerque." Mayor Richard J. Berry

"Mayor Berry is a true leader in the effort to create a vibrant, self-renewing economy in Albuquerque. He has championed projects of alternative energy use to reduce operating costs while maintaining a high level of customer service." Michael J. Riordan, P.E., Director Department of Municipal Development.

City Staff:

DOE Logo


  • Gregory P. Smith, Esq., Deputy Director Parking, Energy and Facilities
  • Kenneth Mitchell, CFM, Facilities Official
  • Tony Gurule, Energy and Sustainability Program Manager
  • Saif Ismail, Energy Specialist


Albuquerque Energy Council Members:

Wes Wilson -  [email protected]

Jim DesJardins - [email protected]

Matt Higgins - [email protected]

Holly Carey - [email protected]

Barbara Madaras - [email protected]


Ground Mounted Thin Film Photovoltaic Solar Arrays

PV Process

Photovoltaics (PV) is the technology and research and development related to the application of solar cells for energy by converting sunlight directly into electricity. This is called the 'photovoltaic effect'.

Sunlight is composed of photon -- packets of solar energy. These photons contain different amounts of energy that correspond to the different wave lengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. The absorbed photons generate electricity.

The energy of a photon is transferred to an electron in an atom of the semiconductor device. With its new found energy, the electron is able to escape from its normal position associated with a single atom in the semiconductor to become part of the current in an electrical circuit. Special electrical properties of the PV cell built-in electric field provide the voltage needed to drive the current through an external load.

Image Courtesy: Sandia National Laboratory

Fire Academy PV Cerro Colorado PV

Thin Film Photovoltaic Roof Mounted Array

Thin Film 1These thin film PV systems were installed in conjunction with thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof systems to reduce heat surrounding the PV systems, which enable the systems to generate more electricity year round. According to Energy Star and the EPA, TPO is a recommended substrate for the installation of Thin Film PV systems.

Thin Film 2The panels employ cylindrical modules which capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface capable of converting direct, diffuse, and reflected sunlight into electricity.

The tubular design is "self-tracking". Collecting light around a 360 degree surface allows it to capture more light early and late in the day. This consistent power generation during the day allows the use of a smaller inverter, saving costs and benefits the overall energy yield of the system over time.

Thin Film Example


Alamosa SmallDon Newton Community CenterLos Volcanes Senior Center

Cool Roofs

Cool Roof AfterCool Roof BeforeRead more about Cool Roof Systems here.

A cool roof reflects and emits the sun's energy as light back to the sky instead of allowing it to enter the building below as heat. A cool roof can substantially reduce the cooling load of the building providing several direct benefits.

Images: Before & After

Cool Roof Example 1

Solar Thermal Water Heaters at City Pools

Highland Pool SolarRead more about Solar Thermal Water Heaters here.

Each of the pools used natural gas fired boilers and/or heat exchangers to heat the pool water. The pool water is heated year round at a constant temperature of 82 degrees F.

Locations: Highland, Los Altos, Sandia, West Mesa High School, and Valley.

Lighting Projects

Read more about City Wide Lighting Upgrades here.

As the incandescent light bulb fades into history, the two most cost effective lighting solutions are Fluorescent and LED. A comparison between the two identified light costs are approximately the same and both types of light fixtures are doing well in decreasing electric consumption, however maintenance of fluorescent is significantly higher. The City of Albuquerque is leading the way for these lighting improvements.

Completed Fiscal Year (FY13)

-Convention Center Parking Structure Efficiency Lighting Upgrade- $335,998

-Fire Station #4 Energy Efficiency Lighting Upgrades-$50,431

-Fire Station #6 Energy Efficiency Lighting Upgrades-$20,310

-Fire Station #10 Energy Efficiency Lighting Upgrades-$27,108

-911 Center Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade -$405,903

-Plaza Del Sol lighting Assessment and Bid Package-$40,000

-2nd & Gold Parking Structure  Efficiency Lighting Upgrade -219,884

-East Convention Center  Lighting Efficiency Upgrade -$1,028,297

-Fire Station #11 Energy Efficiency Lighting Upgrades -$49,375

-Convention Center Ballroom Lighting Efficiency Upgrade -$396,289




Completed Fiscal Year (FY14)

-Vehicle Emissions Testing Facility

Lighting Upgrade-$46,609

-Westside Convention Center Lighting Upgrade-$1,282,435

-Isotopes Stadium Sports Lighting Upgrade-$571,851

-Plaza Del Sol Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade -$895,401



Completed Fiscal Year (FY15)

-Air Quality Admin Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade-$113,578

-Utility Tracker Software Implementation-$14,548.25

Projects In Development (FY 15)

-Sandia Swimming Pool Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade(Project in Construction) - $120,211.00

-West Mesa Aquatics Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade (Project Schedule)-$296,042

-Westside Animal Shelter Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade (Approved Project Requesting Funding)-$148,093.00

-5th and Copper Parking Structure Lighting Upgrade (Approved Project Requesting Funding)


-Eagle Rock Waste Management Center lighting Upgrade (Approved Project pending TRC Review)-$76,482.00


Bond Proposed Projects   (FY16)

-City County/ City Hall Lighting Upgrade-$1,457,460.00

-Main Library Lighting Upgrade - $420,120.00

-Civic Center Parking Structure Lighting Upgrade - $218,988.00

-APD North Valley Area Command Lighting Upgrade - $189,562.00


HVAC Upgrades, project development and system designs

HVAC Upgrade 1HVAC Upgrade 2Read more about HVAC Energy Efficiency Upgrades here.

HVAC projects consisted of upgrading mechanical equipment by replacing parts of existing equipment, or designing complete systems for contractor bid. Designs and associated bid packages were developed for Solid Waste and West Side animal shelter.

Completed Fiscal Year (FY13)

-Sierra Vista Pool Boiler upgrade-$54,134

-East Convention Center Efficiency Boiler Upgrade -$182,445

-ITSD Power Monitoring Measures-$26,333

-Albuquerque Museum Lighting and HVAC Upgrade-$235,486

-Convention Center Mechanical Energy Assessment -$10,000

Completed Fiscal Year (FY14)

-City County Energy Upgrade Boiler Assessment / Design (95% Complete)-$87,222

-Albuquerque Museum Lighting and HVAC Upgrade-$235,486

Completed Fiscal Year (FY15)

-City Hall Cooling Tower VFD Energy Efficiency Project-$16,777

-APD Refrigerator Replacement Energy Conservation Upgrade _$4,290

-City Hall Chiller Plant Control Energy Efficiency Project (In-construction)-$12,245

Bond Proposed Projects   (FY16)

City County / City Hall Boiler Upgrade Phase I – $315,290.00

City County / City Hall Boiler Controls Phase II - $499,710.00


Installation of energy efficiency devices

Light SensorsWatt StoppersRead more about City Wide Energy Efficiency Devices here.

One of the first projects mandated by Mayor Richard J. Berry was to address 'low hanging fruit' for energy efficiency with the shortest 'payback' period. Immediately, the Department of Municipal Development addressed such issues as watt stoppers at employee's desks, motion sensors for office lighting across the City, and more.

Cumulative Totals

City Facility Electric Cost with vs. without Energy Efficiency Upgrades


City Facility Electric Use in kWh with vs. without Energy Efficiency Upgrades


Cumulative Avoided Cost per Fiscal Year


Cumulative Avoid Energy Use per Fiscal Year