The Buckman Direct Diversion 2A Solar Fields
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.
Forestry and Habitat Restoration Work Beginning this Week at
The Buckman Direct Diversion Water ProjectSANTA FE, NM – Efforts will begin this week on forestry work and habitat restoration associated with the Buckman Direct Diversion water project. Crews will be near the terminus of Old Buckman Road on the east bank of the Rio Grande, on a 7-acre piece of land adjacent to the water diversion/pump facilities. Non-native plant species will be removed and replaced with a mixture of native trees, shrubs, and grasses. This work is required pursuant to the project’s federal environmental permit. Crews will be performing this work through this winter and into late spring next year. For more information please contact Rick Carpenter, Water Resources and Conservation Manager, City of Santa Fe, at 505-955-4206.
On Saturday, February 23, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation with the help of local sponsors (TogetherGreen, Audubon New Mexico, Sierra Club, and the City of Santa Fe) organized the second voluntary and very successful clean-up event of the Buckman Bosque Restoration Project area. Approximately 30 volunteers provided their time, energy, and enthusiasm, while the sponsors of the event provided tools (gloves, trash bags, shovels, rakes, trowels), shade & chairs, beverages & lunch, portable toilet, and volunteer incentives (hats, t-shirts).
In spite of the realization of how much neglect and abuse this beautiful and inspirational area has experienced, the mood was festive and energized as glass, cans, diapers, tires, and other rubbish began to disappear, revealing the underlying integrity of the Rio Grande and its riparian forest. By 3:30 pm all the garbage in the ½ mile project area along the Rio Grande was gone and the full sized dumpster, provided by BDD, was ¾ full of some rather remarkable things including: a sofa bed, rugs, blankets, and tires. Despite the fact that the bulk of the garbage was found in the form of broken glass, we were able to recycle two full bins of unbroken bottles and ¾ of a bin of aluminum cans.
Having finished early because of the great turn out and the infectious inspiration that seemed to keep everyone motivated and working hard, many sat around in the warm afternoon sun laughing, telling stories, pointing out birds, landmarks and different hikes in the area. There was a definite sense of satisfaction having re-claimed this beautiful place through such good intentions and hard work.
We would like to thank the volunteers and sponsors of this event for their hard work and dedication to improve the quality of the wonderful and valuable Buckman Bosque Restoration Project area!
More pictures available on the History Tab in the photo archive.