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Mayor Keller Puts Albuquerque on the Path to Become a Top 10 U.S. City Powered By Renewable Energy

The City of Albuquerque, PNM, Jicarilla Apache Nation partner on innovative solar program.

May 30, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller announced that the City of Albuquerque is now on the path to becoming one of the top 10 U.S. cities powered by renewable energy. The City of Albuquerque, in partnership with PNM, has taken a giant step forward, and is blazing the path towards making New Mexico the national leader in renewable energy. This innovative new plan will add 50MW of solar power for subscribers of the project, increasing renewable energy production, while simultaneously decreasing our carbon footprint throughout New Mexico. The project will be located on the Jicarilla Apache Nation, bringing economic development as the third largest solar project on Tribal Lands in the country.

If approved, the PNM Solar Direct Program will provide the City of Albuquerque a path to achieving 65% emissions-free energy use by 2021. It is estimated this amount of renewable energy use will place Albuquerque as one of the top ten major U.S. cities using over 50% renewable energy for city operations.

Looking to find Albuquerque’s place in the sun as a national leader in renewable energy and conservation, Mayor Tim Keller approached PNM with a proposed partnership to de-carbonize the city’s power supply. PNM responded by creating a new, pioneering solar program that will offer municipalities, governmental, tribal, and educational entities as well as  large commercial customers, an opportunity to receive solar energy without asking PNM‘s other customers to subsidize this voluntary environmental program.  As a result of this partnership, PNM issued a request for proposals, of which many local businesses throughout New Mexico put forth innovative plans to power the Solar Direct project.

Proving the pathway to a renewable energy economy will bring new opportunities to every corner of our state, the 50MW solar facility will be built on land located within the sovereign territory of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. This new solar facility will be the third largest solar project on Tribal Lands in the country. Thus extending the benefits of solar, and the power of renewable energy, far beyond the city streets of Albuquerque.

“PNM supports direct face-to-face collaboration with our customers to create products and services they want. PNM is also proud to support energy policies which are implemented to ensure an emissions-free future. PNM supports our customers by giving them the products and services they need to serve the public and best serve their customers,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, Chairman, President, and CEO of PNM Resources, “The transition to a renewable energy economy is already underway, and by offering the City of Albuquerque a new way to power our city with solar energy, PNM is proving that working together we can tackle any challenge and come up with a solution.”

Mayor Tim Keller said, “My whole public service career has been filled with questions about why our state isn’t a leader in renewable energy. Today, we’re stepping up and bringing leadership to make Albuquerque a top 10 U.S. city powered by renewable energy. This project puts us on the map with the third largest solar project on Tribal Lands in the nation.”

If approved by the NMPRC, The City of Albuquerque, along with other government entities and businesses throughout New Mexico, will reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their sustainability goals. This groundbreaking partnership proves New Mexico has the natural resources, policies, and partnerships necessary to make New Mexico a national leader in renewable energy. With the leadership of Mayor Tim Keller, New Mexico will be a model for other states and a national leader when it comes to developing renewable energy solutions, while developing new economic opportunities by leveraging our states abundant solar and wind resources.

By partnering with local governments like the City of Albuquerque, as well as tribal governments like the Jicarilla Apache, PNM is working towards meeting the goals of our state’s energy policy without additional costs to our customers. This proves the path to an emissions-free future can be done cost effectively, while including consumer protections, through policies implemented in the Energy Transition Act (ETA). PNM has announced its intention to meet a carbon-free future in 2040, five years earlier than outlined in the ETA. PNM intends to do so by leveraging partnerships to proactively serve our customers the clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy needed to energize economies and empower sustainability initiatives.