Funding Provided by the New Mexico Finance Authority Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund


The Buckman Direct Diversion 2A Solar Field


The Buckman Direct Diversion 2A Solar Field



Rick Carpenter, BDD Project Manager






SANTA FE, N.M. – The Buckman Direct Diversion has installed a second solar array system, increasing the amount of total solar energy to 2.5 MW, powering 41 percent of total energy needs to treat and deliver Rio Grande surface water to Santa Fe residents.

The new 1.5 MW solar system is completely owned and operated by the BDD and provides 30 percent of the energy required to operate the pumps to push water 11 miles uphill from the Rio Grande to the water treatment plant. The solar system is located on 5 acres near the 2A Booster Station facility. 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.

The first solar system provides 1.0 MW, supplying most of the water treatment plant and finished water pumping electricity needs on sunny days. The array is located on 8-acres of BLM land adjacent to the Buckman Regional Water Treatment Plant.

“The customers we serve deserve the benefits of clean, fuel-free, renewable solar energy”, stated Joseph Maestas, BDD Board Chair and Santa Fe City Councilor. ”The BDD Board mandated several years ago that green power would be a component of providing our customers with sustainable drinking water and the BDD Board is firmly committed to energy and water efficient practices that will continue to reduce our carbon footprint and help our citizens adapt to climate change”.

The solar system cost $4.8 million to build and was funded in part by the New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA) through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund. Ryan Helton, NMFA senior program administrator states, “It’s refreshing to see municipalities put together a deal of this stature that will provide so many benefits to their constituents. Santa Fe has paved the way, and we hope to see other communities create these kinds of projects too.”

“The BDD board deserves recognition for being forward thinking and employing solar to power this critical facility in our community,” says Regina Wheeler, Positive Energy Solar CEO. “Now, the cost of energy for these pumps is fixed for 30 years. The price of the power is less than the BDD board was paying PNM today, and the savings will grow over time as grid electric becomes more expensive.”

“BDD is in the forefront of technology and we will continue on our green path to carry our customers and partners into the next generation,” says Liz Stefanics, BDD Vice-Chair and Santa Fe County Commissioner.

Some 4,608 high efficiency solar panels make up the new installation. The system takes up 30 percent less land, minimizing the footprint of the site. Positive Energy Solar and Bradbury Stamm Construction were selected through an RFP process to install the array.

The system will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony onsite, Thursday, June 19 at 3:00 pm.

About Buckman Direct Diversion Project

The Buckman Direct Diversion Project (BDD) provides a safe, reliable and sustainable source of drinking water for the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County by improving the regional water supply under drought conditions. The BDD Buckman is recognized as a state of the art, advanced water treatment facility in the state of New Mexico awarded with the prestigious national LEED certification on exemplary energy and water efficiencies, and the Good Housekeeping Award and the Max D. Summerlot Award for demonstrating excellence in water system operations, maintenance, management, safety and professionalism. BDD was also awarded with the Design-Build Institute of American Design-Build for Innovation. For more information, please visit www.bddproject.org.

About Positive Energy Solar

An employee-owned company, Positive Energy Solar is the largest certified Benefits Corporation (B Corp) in New Mexico, a distinction earned for providing good wages, benefits, and growth opportunities for team members; contributing to schools and non profits; delivering 100 percent satisfaction to its customers; and selecting products for long term performance and low environmental impact. Positive Energy Solar is New Mexico’s leading residential and commercial solar installer, and was named the SunPower® residential dealer of the year for 2013. Visit www.positiveenergysolar.com


BDD Solar Sidebar

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

To view news release, click here: BDD Installs 2nd Landmark Solar System