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City Completes Bloomberg Philanthropies American City Climate Challenge

Brings City government closer to goal of 100% renewable energy through 5 outlined climate initiatives

July 28, 2022

The City of Albuquerque completed the Bloomberg Philanthropies American City Climate Challenge (ACCC). The ACCC began in January 2019 and has provided Albuquerque powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat its goals of achieving a net-zero electricity and reduced carbon footprint. Albuquerque was one of only 25 cities nationwide to be part of the $70 million program.

“All of the incredible partners involved in the Climate Challenge helped the City go far beyond our own expectations in what we could achieve in a short amount of time,” said Kelsey Rader, City Sustainability Officer. “In no small part because of the Climate Challenge, Albuquerque has become a national leader in sustainability.”

Albuquerque met its six goals as part of the Climate Challenge including:

  • Completion of Solar Direct, a 50 MW solar field that will help the City achieve more than 80% renewable energy for government operations by 2022 and be on track for 100% renewable energy by 2025;
  • Implemented a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) first policy for all city fleet vehicles;
  • Constructed 20 publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations with 36 charging ports throughout Albuquerque;
  • Developed a scope for energy performance contracting to perform deep energy efficiency retrofits and retro-commissioning municipal facilities;
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge to help small and medium businesses reduce their energy consumption while saving money; and,
  • Supported the development of the New Mexico Community Solar Act

“We are committed to building a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Albuquerque for future generations. We have met our Climate Challenge goals and we aren’t stopping here,” said Mayor Tim Keller.  “We have made critical strides with the Climate Challenge’s support to reduce emissions and utility bills for homeowners, small businesses, and in City facilities and have rapidly built an electric vehicle network, bringing charging stations into our community.”

The Climate Challenge completion builds on the Keller administration’s substantial work to date on sustainability, including:

  • Utilization of 88% renewable energy for municipal operations with the completion of the Solar Direct project,
  • A $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement, after President Trump pulled out, committing the city to climate action,
  • Installation of 38 solar projects at city-owned buildings,
  • Ranked as 4th highest large U.S. City for most solar installed per capita by Environment America’s Shining Cities 2022 Report,
  • Launching of the Mayor’s Energy Challenge to support local businesses reduce energy use,
  • Won Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
  • Transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
  • Provided over 200 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM, Partnership for Community Action and Prosperity Works,
  • Procurement of the all-electric vehicles for the City fleet, and enactment of a “Zero Emissions First” fleet vehicle adoption policy,
  • Achievement of LEED for Cities Silver certification,
  • Ranked 31st out of over 100 U.S. Cities for overall sustainability on the 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE),
  • Installation of20 electric charging stations with 36 charging ports across City facilities
  • Launch of the 2021 Climate Action Plan.