SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Santa Fe is one step closer to its goal of becoming a fully sustainable city. With a plan to become a 100 percent renewable city by 2040, the city has identified over 90 projects to reach their goal. 

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A groundbreaking ceremony held on Friday morning highlighted two-thirds of those projects that are either underway or have already been completed.

“It’s going to save money, it’s going to produce renewable energy and it is yet another step in the city of Santa Fe becoming the most sustainable city in the United States of America,” Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said.

Seventeen solar arrays will be placed at seven city facilities, eight water improvement facilities and two Buckman Direct diversion facilities. The solar project will add 2.75 megawatts of renewable energy and will offset 80 percent of electricity consumption within selected city facilities and 60 percent at water facilities.

More than $750,000 per year will also be saved in utility costs for Santa Fe residents. It will cost more than $15 million to construct all solar panels at the city facilities. The city says the project will hopefully pay for itself over the next 18 years.

“We’ll be saving about a million dollars a year on energy costs. So we’ll not only have renewable energy but we’ll be saving taxpayers’ dollars that then can go towards more renewable projects as we continue to drive towards that sustainable goal,” said Webber.

The project also includes several facility improvements including replacing light fixtures, upgrading plumbing, replacing old transformers and more. On Wednesday, the city also voted to invest $20 million on a solar panel project at the city’s airport. Construction is set to begin next month and is expected to take a few weeks to complete.