Update on the Solar Photovoltaic Project for the Santa Fe County Ken and Patty Senior/ Max Coll Community Center Facility

Santa Fe County is pleased that after a long pause for PNM technical review and permitting, we expect to begin the 2-month construction on the solar photovoltaic system at the Eldorado community center complex in February 2020! Below are details on the project, schedule, benefits, and 2019 progress. To connect the array with the building’s electrical panel, the County’s contractor, Sol Luna Solar, will need to directionally drill under the driveway senior/community center and library driveway.  We appreciate your patience during the days that the traffic flow may be impacted at the facility.


Project Details:

  • System -Ground-mount, 6-foot average height, 30-degree tilt, 71 kW array
  • Location- In the land area the driveway encircles; we analyzed many alternate options before settling on this location.
  • Map solar project 
  • Landscaping – Array to be  surrounded by  native vegetation, a coyote fence on the north side, and split-rail fence on the other three sides; designed to blend in with the Eldorado natural aesthetic
  • Contract - $162,400 contract awarded to Sol Luna Solar following competitive bidding process; cost per watt =$2.29
  • Funding source -  Santa Fe County capital outlay gross receipt tax
  • Interconnection – The electricity generated on site will first be used for building energy use, with any excess distributed to the electric grid at large.  The center will still be connected to the grid, so all power needs will first be met by the behind-the-meter array, and then by the power supplied through the PNM distribution network.


Project Benefits:

  • Produces 130 kilowatt/hour of electricity year 1, saving ~$16,000 per year in electricity costs; the project has a 10 year return-on-investment with an expected of savings of $250,000 after 25 years.
  • Offsets 85% of the building’s electricity use.
  • Offset ~90 metric tons of CO2e each year, the equivalent of planting 3,403 trees per year or taking 19 cars off the road for the year
  • Demonstrates our community’s commitment to:
    • cleaner air and healthier residents
    • local businesses and the green economy
    • decreasing  County footprint and preventing further climate change
    • saving water (solar generation uses a fraction of the water of that used to generate electricity using coal)
    • strong local resilience

2019 Progress

  • NM Constructions Improvement Division permit (expected any day)
  • Santa Fe County development permit (December 2019)
  • PNM Technical Review Completed (October 2019; submitted in May 2019)
  • $162,400 Contract with Sol Luna Solar renewed for additional year (November 2019)
  • Approval from Santa Fe County Technical Advisory Committee (August 2019)