26 Oct 2021

Dept. of Energy Assists Albuquerque Public Schools with Landmark Solar + Storage Project

26 Oct 2021  by   

Albuquerque Public Schools has announced the groundbreaking of the largest solar installation in the APS school district and the state’s most extensive battery system at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School. The project includes 850 kWDC of solar capacity and a Tesla Megapack 2 that can deploy a capacity of 2,887 kWh for peak shaving.

Rendering of the Tesla Megapack.

The solar + storage project will be designed and constructed by local EPC OE Solar and is expected to reduce energy costs by $3.5 million over the system’s 25-year lifetime. The system can be configured to provide backup power to the school in case of a grid outage. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the Atrisco Heritage High School on Oct. 25.

The Atrisco project is jointly supported by a $300,000 cost-share from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Office of Electricity (DOE-OE) and a grant from the New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources. Sandia National Laboratories is providing technical support for the project and will collect operational data to inform DOE’s national research as part of the DOE-OE Stationary Energy Storage Program. Through its contract with Sandia National Laboratories, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is playing a coordinating role in project development, reporting and documentation.

“This project is another step in our long-term commitment to environmental responsibility. APS is proud to be at the forefront of solar power and energy storage deployment in the public school sector,” said Karen Alarid, APS executive director of capital.

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is a bilingual education facility rich in diverse ethnicities and higher education college prep programs. Atrisco Heritage High School serves 2,200 students within the Albuquerque Public School District, of which 14% of students come from disadvantaged households. The school is recognizing a decrease in high school enrollment, making energy demand charges crucial. With the advanced PV technology, the school will lower peak demand costs and could potentially be used as a shelter during power outages and environmental crises for the surrounding communities.

“Energy storage is a critical component in reaching our state’s ambitious clean electricity goals,” said Louise Martinez, EMNRD energy conservation and management division director. “Pairing energy storage and solar power will help APS reduce electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity use. We are excited to support this project that demonstrates the value of using energy storage and solar for grid security to others across New Mexico.”

More News