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Metropolitan Detention Center

New Solar Power Installation Generates Electrical Power at MDC


Solar PowerBernalillo County and SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy technology and services provider, unveiled the county’s first solar power installation at the Metropolitan Detention Center. The one-megawatt solar power installation is comprised of 3,663 SunEdison Silvantis™ Photovoltaic Solar Modules mounted on single axis trackers.

The solar program is made possible through a solar power purchase agreement between Bernalillo County and SunEdison which required no up-front costs to the county. SunEdison developed the project and arranged financing; after interconnection the company will provide 24/7 management and monitoring through its Renewable Operations Center.   Bernalillo County will buy the energy produced at long-term, predictable pricing.

“This renewable energy project will stabilize rates and reduce electrical costs for the power required at the jail over the long term,” says Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley. “This system will generate enough electricity to cover roughly 20 percent of the power needed for the jail.”

The solar power installation will reduce Bernalillo County’s use of non-renewable fossil fuels and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Annually, the solar power system will offset CO2 emissions by an average of three million pounds – a reduction comparable to removing about 320 cars driving 12,000 miles per year.

The installation will generate an estimated 2.4 million kilowatts of energy annually.  That’s the equivalent of powering about 205 average U.S. homes for a year. 

The total installation cost of the project was about $4 million.

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