August 4, 2022
The City of Albuquerque received the Gold designation from Solsmart for its progress in the use of solar energy. Solsmart is a national designation program that recognizes cities, counties, and regional organizations that foster the development of mature solar markets. By acquiring gold, the city has taken a giant leap forward and is paving the way to make Albuquerque a national leader in renewable energy.
The City supports energy policies that are implemented to ensure a zero-emissions future. The transition to a renewable energy economy is already underway, and this designation reflects calls to action from Albuquerque’s frontline communities captured in the 2021 Climate Action Plan. Solsmart reviewed Albuquerque’s performance in expedited solar permit reviews, the amount of solar energy installed in city facilities, solar inspection and training processes, and solar resources available to residents in its qualifying criteria.
“I’m very proud of the work the City has done to date in fostering renewable energy generation,” said Officer, Kelsey Rader. “It’s just part of the work we’ve done to fight climate change in addition to embracing clean transportation and advancing energy efficiency.”
This Gold designation shows that Albuquerque has the natural resources, policies and partnerships to become a national leader in renewable energy. The City’s Office of Sustainability partnered with City Planning and Development to achieve this designation.
“We want our residents to have all the tools and help they need to make the transition to renewable energy easier,” said Alan Varela, Director of Planning. “Our staff is fully equipped to issue permits and inspect solar panels quickly and efficiently.”
“Renewable energy is the future for everyone in Albuquerque,” said Saif Ismail, Head of Energy and Sustainability. “The City is becoming a national leader in solar energy and is encouraging a larger market for solar energy. »
These sustainability efforts are a model for developing renewable energy solutions, while developing new economic opportunities by taking advantage of New Mexico’s abundant solar resources. The ranking is based on the substantial work of the Keller administration to date on sustainability, including:
- 88% use of 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 in buildings belonging to the city,
- Ranked 4th among major US cities for most solar installations installed per capita by Environment America’s Shining Cities 2022 report,
- Launch of the Mayor’s Energy Challenge to help local businesses reduce their energy consumption,
- Won the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
- Transition to more sustainable LED streetlights throughout the city,
- Provided over 200 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM, Partnership for Community Action and Prosperity Works,
- Acquisition of 100% electric vehicles for the City’s fleet and implementation of a “Zero emission first” fleet vehicle adoption policy,
- Obtaining LEED for Cities Silver certification,
- Ranked 31st out of more than 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 of 20 electric charging stations with 36 charging stations in City facilities
- Launch of the 2021 Climate Plan.