Local Business, Local Workforce, Local Electricity
Local solar business Positive Energy will begin construction of the photovoltaic (PV) system on March 28 and should complete the work by April 30. The 93-kW system will produce over 170,000 kWhs per year, which is roughly 11% of the Convention Center’s energy needs. The PV system’s size was constrained by the available roof space. The city was careful to comply with all Historic Preservation Regulations.
The PV system will reduce the city government’s carbon footprint by 0.4%. It will offset more than 3,675 tons of greenhouse gasses over the next 20 years and save more than 87,500 gallons of water each year by not producing electricity through fossil fuels.
Once the system is energized, the Convention Center will have a fixed price of 6.75 cents per kWh for the next 20 years. This means the Convention Center saves money on electricity the first year and saves more every time the price of electricity increases.
“It’s wonderful that we were able to build this renewable energy system, but it gives me even greater pleasure knowing that this system was built by a local company, Positive Energy, using the local workforce,” said Councilor Chris Calvert, a champion of solar-energy projects.
Positive Energy will be using a local workforce for the job. The firm employs Douglas Rael, who trained with the company through the Youthworks Green Collar Jobs Training Program (a City of Santa Fe Economic Development program).
The Convention Center achieved a LEED Gold certification shortly after construction was completed. The addition of a system to locally generate electricity makes a green building even more earth friendly.