Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD) received a nomination and a 2014 Award of Merit from the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), New Mexico Chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association for its newest solar array at BDD’s Booster Station 2A. The NAIOP honored the top New Mexico real estate projects at its annual Awards of Excellence luncheon. Accepting the honorable mention award were Facility Manager Charles Vokes, Chairman of the BDD Board Joseph Maestas and SF Public Utilities Director Nick Schiavo.Recognized in the Civic/Public project for the solar build by Bradbury-Stamm Construction and Positive Energy Solar, this 4,608 solar panel array increases the BDD’s energy by another 1.5 mw for a total of 2.5 mw and 41% total energy needed to treat and deliver Rio Grande surface water to Santa Fe residents. The solar system completed in June of this year is located on 5 acres and takes up 30 percent less land, minimizing our environmental footprint. The energy savings will reduce the BDD’s annual bill up to an additional $205,000 per year, bringing the total potential annual energy saving to $400,000. Positive Energy Solar and Bradbury Stamm Construction were selected through an RFP process to install the array. The top NAIOP Civic/Public project awardee was the McKinley County Justice Complex in Gallup. The Paseo/I-25 reconstruction project was awarded with the NAIOP’s top Chairman’s award and recognized as a significant “game changer” for its huge scale and coordination plus the potential economic and environmental impact.
The Buckman Direct Diversion 2A Solar Fields
Charles has relocated to Santa Fe to oversee a total of 34 positions, and our 15 million gallons per day (MGD) advanced surface water treatment facility that serves both City and County residents. The BDD is a joint venture facility, owned by the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County and Las Campanas, that was created to divert, treat and deliver San Juan Chama and Native waters from the Rio Grande.
The BDD has provided between 60-100% of the City and County’s water supply this summer. The percentage supplied is based on varying well and reservoir availability, which affects up to 70,000 City residents, and the southern portion of the 147,500 Santa Fe County residents. BDD Board Chairman Joseph Maestas excitedly remarked, “On behalf of the BDD Board, I welcome Charles and his family as new members of our community, and Charles as the new leader of our BDD Team. I am excited about the great experience and qualifications that Charles brings to our facility. I look forward to working with him to continue providing the highest levels of BDD facility management and high quality drinking water.”
Mr. Vokes served Arlington Water Utilities for 28 years and the last 4 years as the Assistant Director (AD) of Utilities. As the AD, he was responsible for the direction of three sections: Water Treatment, Laboratory Services and Water Resource Services. The Treatment Facilities included 3 surface water plants with a combined capacity of over 200 MGD using advanced processes including ozonation and biological filtration. His experience is a valuable addition to the BDD’s advanced treatment processes utilizing ozonation and micron membrane and granular activated carbon filtration.
Charles stated, “Accepting this position at the Buckman Direct Diversion in Santa Fe will allow me to work in my chosen field for an organization which is known as one of the best. I look forward to working with the existing and future staff member to continue tradition of excellence.”
Mr. Vokes graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Biological Sciences and began his career with Arlington Water Utilities as their Senior Biologist. Over the next 28 years, he served Arlington as Lab Manager, Water Treatment Manager and Assistant Director. He has held additional positions as a Training Specialist for the City of Fort Worth, the Texas Regional Manager for U.S. Water Services Corporation and Water Superintendent for the City of Cleburne. His specialty in water quality issues gained recognition through his publication titled, “Impact of Ozone and Biological Filtration on Water Quality Parameters in Arlington, Texas”. Charles is married, has 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. He enjoys golf, tennis, snow skiing and fishing, so our Santa Fe and New Mexico summer and winter recreational opportunities will be right in par with his weekend goals.
Buckman Direct Diversion Receives NPDES Permit Renewal
The Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD) is proud to announce that we have received renewal of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for another 5 years through the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, with certification from the New Mexico Environment Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau (NMED SWQB). This permit was originally issued October 24, 2008. The renewed permit is effective September 1, 2014.
As part of our water treatment processes, the BDD operates the Sediment Removal Facility that removes the large particle sediment from the Rio Grande raw river water. The NPDES permit regulates sediment that is removed from the raw water and is returned to the Rio Grande. This sediment removal process is the physical removal of large sand particles and does not include any chemical additional to the discharged water.
Since the start of BDD operation in January 2011, the Buckman Direct Diversion has remained committed to providing the highest level of safe drinking water while minimizing the impact to the environment. The BDD continues to participate in full compliance with all Federal and State requirements.
For more information or questions about this permit, please contact Daniela Bowman, BDD Regulatory Compliance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-955-4504.
Councilor Maestas welcomes guests to the ribbon cutting Rick Carpenter was the project manager for the solar project and coordinated efforts between Positive Energy Solar, NM Finance Authority, Bradbury Stamm Construction, and Smith Engineering in addition to a variety of subcontractors. Rick welcomed the guests then introduced City Councilor and Chairman of the BDD Board, Joseph Maestas, who in turn acknowledged dignitaries for the State, City, County, and contractors involved on the project. Speakers present were Senator Tom Udall’s representative Matt Miller, Senator Peter Wirth, NM Finance Authority’s Robert Colter, Positive Energy Solar’s Regina Wheeler, Jim Spinello of Smith Engineering and Cynthia Schultz of Bradbury Stamm Construction. Senator Peter Wirth gave first hand testimony on the positive benefits of using solar to supplement facility energy cost-cutting measures and stated how he was impressed with his tour of the Buckman Direct Diversion plant’s advanced operations. Matt Miller from Senator Tom Udall’s office read a letter from the Senator applauding our concerted efforts to continue our renewable energy efforts. He stated, “The BDD is setting an example for the entire country, as the two solar arrays continue to play such a large part in getting this most precious natural resource to everyone in Santa Fe County.” View Letter from Sen. Udall: Udall-letter-2014.pdf The gate entrance to the solar panel array lent for a perfect spot for the ribbon cutting. The group then transitioned between the rows of solar panels for a brief description on how the high efficiency SunPower panels operate.
Solar panel ribbon cutting June 2014 Photographers from both the Santa Fe New Mexican and Albuquerque Journal were on site to document the event and an article appeared in the New Mexican’s front page of the Local News section and on the Green Fire Times newspaper. This new second solar array is 1.5 MW, and with the first 1.0 MW solar array, the 2.5 MW combination will power 41 percent of the energy necessary to push Rio Grande surface water 11 miles uphill for treatment at BDD and distribution to our customers. The energy savings will reduce the BDD’s annual bill up to an additional $206,000 per year, bringing the total potential annual energy saving to $400,000. There are 4,608 high efficiency solar panels located at the new installation. The new system takes up 30 percent less land, minimizing the footprint of the site. Special thanks to the BDD staff and everyone involved in the solar project installation.
The Buckman Direct Diversion 2A Solar Field BDD Plant Solar Facts 2.5 total MW (1.0 MW and 1.5 MW arrays)
41 percent average total energy
8,688 total high efficiency solar panels
$400,000 potential annual energy bill savings
15,000,000 gallons of water saved in 25 years
26,000 tons of Co2 saved in 25 years
2.5 MW produces approximately enough energy to power 2500 homes annually
13 total solar acres
Rick Carpenter speaks to Matt Miller and Henry Baer, Office of Sen. Udall
John Brown from Positive Energy Solar explains how the solar panels works
Gary Durrant, BDD Chief Operator and Cisco Romero BDD Planner
BDD Operator Jesus Salayandia, Rick Carpenter, Solar Project Manager, give out cold BDD water bottles at the ribbon cutting event
Senator Peter Wirth recognizes the BDD Board’s efforts
Since the vast majority of the trees occupying the site are non-native, we left the largest Russian olive and Siberian elm trees standing for wildlife habitat until the native habitat develops. However, because the Siberian elm trees produce millions of seedlings that threaten to re-populate the project site, we used chainsaws to remove sections of bark around the trunk. This technique, referred to as “girdling” eventually kills the tree but the standing “snag” that results provides valuable habitat for roosting raptors and cavity nesting birds.All of this forestry work was completed in January 2014.
The revegetation work began as soon as we completed the forestry work. This has involved planting approximately 3,500 native trees and shrubs, including Rio Grande cottonwood, three different willow species, New Mexico olive, and about seven other types of native shrubs. We also constructed a small (0.3 acre) willow wetland that is designed to flood when the Rio Grande swells during snow-melt runoff or summer monsoon rain events. All of the revegetation was completed in early March.The next project phases involve erecting strong fences to create a designated parking area and to prevent unauthorized street vehicles from driving into the newly revegetated areas, and creating an educational kiosk to inform the public about the importance of the BDD water project and the goals of the habitat mitigation work.
Non-native saltcedar, Russian olive and Siberian elm trees previously dominated the project site.
These non-native trees were cut with chainsaws and chipped into mulch. The mulch was spread across the existing spur roads.
Garlon Ultra herbicide was applied directly to cut-stump surfaces using a paintbrush to prevent dripping herbicide onto the soil.
Over 1,000 willows, cottonwoods and other native shrubs were planted in a 0.3-acre seasonal wetland. This wetland is designed to flood when the river rises during snow-melt runoff and large summer monsoon rain events.
Over 3,000 native shrubs and trees were planted across the project site.
Native plants were installed using auger-mounted skid steer tractors to ensure that plants were installed close to the groundwater table.