City of Santa Fe Increases Sustainability Through Multimillion-Dollar Project with Yearout Energy

SANTA FE — February 25, 2021 — Yearout Energy, an Energy Services Company (ESCO), announced that they have been approved to implement a $15.4M project with The City of Santa Fe. This project will mark the largest contract of its kind undertaken by the City of Santa Fe — to date.

The project will reduce the energy and water consumption at more than 90 buildings across 38 sites throughout the City; while supporting the goal of shifting the City of Santa Fe to carbon-neutral by 2040. The project is a partnership between the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, and the Buckman Direct Diversion Facility (BDD).

In 2019, the City of Santa Fe placed a solar project as a top priority for the state legislative session and appropriated $925,000 to install behind-the-meter solar arrays at several City facilities. Yearout Energy was selected as one of seven pre-qualified ESCOs in New Mexico to assist with renewable energy and other efficiency improvements.

As the first step, Yearout Energy performed an investment grade audit (IGA) of 22 city buildings to identify and co-develop facility improvement measures that would allow the City of Santa Fe to leverage future utility and operational savings through a Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contract (GESPC). Upon completion of the IGA, Yearout Energy provided a proposal to the City of Santa Fe outlining the project scope, conceptual design, costs, and savings for a wide range of facility improvements. Together, key City stakeholders and Yearout Energy put together a plan to creatively package, finance, and undertake a project of this magnitude.

“This project is an outcome of Santa Fe Mayor Webber and City Council’s commitment to sustainability and innovative approaches to reduce environmental impact.  From having the energy project as the City’s number one priority request to the state legislature in 2019 to approving a package that combined an LED streetlight conversion with this ESCO project in one municipal financing package backed by the energy savings, the City of Santa Fe has demonstrated a model that can be used by cities and organizations across the state,” said Regina Wheeler, City of Santa Fe, public works director.

The City of Santa Fe is projected to save $752,137 in utilities and $27,643 in operations and maintenance costs in the first year alone. The City of Santa Fe is also estimated to receive $230,392 in rebates from their utility providers. In addition to cost savings, the City will reduce

its direct annual electricity, natural gas, and water consumption by 7,255,538 kWh, 28,486 therms, and 2,007,000 gallons, respectively. This results in an annual GHG emission reduction of more than 6.7M pounds of carbon dioxide; equivalent to planting 836 acres of trees, annually.

“Throughout the IGA process, it’s been great working with the City of Santa Fe staff and being able to develop a project that will save the city roughly $780,000 in operational costs in the first year,”  said Danny Alkon, project development engineer for Yearout Energy.

The measures selected for implementation include:

  • Upgrading 9,000 existing lighting fixtures to LED technology
  • Installing 2.75MW of renewable energy (solar photovoltaic)
  • Upgrading 760 domestic water fixtures for reduced consumption
  • Remediating ~200 square feet of building envelope leaks
  • Installing 28 high-efficiency transformers
  • Replacing the roof at the Canyon Road Water Treatment Plant
  • Repairing the solar carports at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center