facebook-24x24

Click to search Click to search

wwtp cleared site

Two years after responding to a request for proposal by the Community Development Department’s Office of Sustainability, Affordable Solar, based in Albuquerque, began construction on January 22 for the long awaited Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project at the Silver City Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Through a unique, legislated financial arrangement called a “Power Purchase Agreement” (PPA), the Town is expected to save an estimated 3-4 million dollars over the next 20 years on electrical costs based on the energy that will be provided by the solar array.

Since municipalities don’t pay taxes and can’t get the tax rebates and tax credits for solar projects that a private solar developer can, it’s possible for a private company to arrange the financing, install, own and maintain a solar photovoltaic array, and sell the power to the municipality at a rate cheaper than the current utility price. Affordable Solar is the designer, builder, owner and maintainer of the WWTP solar system. The municipality’s sole responsibility is to purchase the electricity from Affordable Solar at 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), with no price escalation for the 20 year contract period.  The current rate paid to PNM for the WWTP is 10.5 cents/kWh, which is expected to increase over the same 20 year period.

The six acre site adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant will be covered with just under 4,000 photovoltaic panels and will produce enough power to offset approximately 80% of the treatment plant’s electrical costs. The system is just over one megawatt DC in size, which is enough to power about 175 average residential homes.

Ryan Centerwall, General Manager, Project Group, at Affordable Solar expects the four month construction project be up and running by May of 2013. He said “We feel comfortable going into this PPA knowing these systems are quite reliable. Being in the solar industry, we feel it is important to show our commitment to the business by making long-term investments in solar assets. We are happy to be able to deliver a 20 year fixed price to the town that is well below their current utility rate. It’s a good deal for both Silver City and Affordable Solar”.

Nick Sussillo, Director of the Office of Sustainability, is pleased that this is finally coming to fruition. “I first heard about this PPA arrangement in May 2010 from the City of Santa Fe’s Energy Specialist, now Acting Director of Housing and Community Development, Nick Schiavo. It sounded too good to be true: Santa Fe signed a contract to purchase power from a third party solar entity who would own and maintain the system; no money was invested by Santa Fe, and yet they would be saving millions over their contracted 20 year agreement. Schiavo said Silver City could do this too. We are now on our way.”  

Silver City Town Manager, Alex Brown, has led the contract negotiations, supported by Robert Scavron, Esq., Town Attorney, and Nick Sussillo. Peter Russell, Director of the Community Development Department, has supported the project from behind the scenes, playing a key guiding role.  Technical consulting was provided by Robert Esqueda, Director of Utilities for the Town; Kurt Albershardt, owner of the Murray Hotel, and Jim Kerstetter, former professor at the University of Washington, all three of whom were members of the Town’s project evaluation committee.

  An event to celebrate the in-process construction of the Array will be planned for late February, and a christening event is planned once the Array is operational in May.  The public will be invited to both events.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
captcha 
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Four NEW classifieds for furniture and an REI screen house

A new classified just came in from a fellow looking for work doing thinning, fire protection work, etc. 

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

WARNING:

All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat. 

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member.

We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

20191110