City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton announced Saturday that they will soon file legislation that will allow the city to issue $25 million in renewable energy bonds. The bonds will go toward outfitting a number of city buildings with solar panels, significantly cutting the city’s power bill, according to Davis. It would be the first phase of a large-scale project the city is undertaking. Last year, the City Council passed a resolution for Albuquerque to get 25 percent of its energy from solar by 2025. Davis said the first phase of the project will bring the city about halfway to its goal. Construction could get started this summer if the City Council votes to approve the bonds sale. According to Sanders Moore, the director of advocacy group Environment New Mexico, the city currently gets 3 percent of its energy from solar power, despite being one of the sunniest cities in the country.
New Independence Square is Earth-Friendly
The $30 million Lovelace Medical Group’s Independence Square clinic, built by developer Argus Investment Realty, officially opened its doors on Monday at 6701 Jefferson NE. The facility boasts 100 exam rooms and space for up to 40 providers. The two-story, 43,200-square-foot building was designed by architectural firm Dekker/Perich/Sabatini to be an eco-friendly model for future projects. Large windows cut back on energy use, LED fixtures are used in place of traditional lighting, E-glass and an energy recovery water source heat pump system are employed throughout the structure to regulate temperature, and 320 photovoltaic panels that can produce up to 100 kilowatts per hour of solar power are mounted on the roof. The providers who previously were at the Northside clinic at 6100 Pan American Fwy NE have moved to the Independence Square facility.
ABQ Ranked in Smog Report
The Environment New Mexico Research and Policy Center released a report earlier this month that ranked Albuquerque 22nd in the nation for days with elevated smog. Elevated smog pollution is pollution that is above the level determined by the EPA to pose “little to no risk.” According to the report, communities in 49 states and the District of Columbia experienced at least one day of elevated ozone smog pollution. Smog can cause a number of respiratory malfunctions, including coughing, wheezing, throat irritation, asthma, increased risk of infection and permanent damage to lung tissue. For those living near freeways, airports and industrial facilities, where air particulates are more abundant, exposure to air pollution is even more severe. In New Mexico, Albuquerque had the most days of elevated smog in 2015 with 113 days, followed by Las Cruces with 112. In the nation, Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, Calif. had the most days with 233. Data for the report came from 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency, Air Data, Pre-Generated Files.