The road to renewable energy

New Mexico is sunny almost 75% of the year. The day of the event commemorating the start of full-scale operations was cloudy, but that didn’t dim the enthusiasm of (from left) Deputy County Manager for Public Works Jarvis Middleton, County Manager Tom Zdunek, County Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley, New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce Board President Robert White, SunEdison Managing Director Matt Dickey, and County Fleet and Facilities Director Mary Murnane.

Each of the four solar panel arrays is steel piles with a single-axis tracker so the modules can track from east to west daily. Three inverters convert the arrays’ DC current to AC current before interconnection to the jail and local electric utility.

Deputy County Manager for Public Works Jarvis Middleton inspects a solar installation that is supplying 20% of the 13 million kilowatts Bernalillo County's Metropolitan Detention Center needs every year.

Bernalillo County bought 150 acres about 10 miles outside of Albuquerque in 1996 and in 2002 built the Metropolitan Detention Center there. In 2009, the Fleet/Facilities Management Department chose the site for a solar power installation because of the large amount of unused space available on property already owned by the county.

Bernalillo County bought 150 acres about 10 miles outside of Albuquerque in 1996 and in 2002 built the Metropolitan Detention Center there. In 2009, the Fleet/Facilities Management Department chose the site for a solar power installation because of the large amount of unused space available on property already owned by the county.

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