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       Nov. 24, 2017                 
 
 

Sustainability Office Legal & Public Notices
This section provides an archive and record of recent and past Legal Notices for the Sustainability Office , including notices for meetings and events that have already taken place:


Open Meetings Act Compliance
Public access to the proceedings and decision-making processes of governmental boards, agencies and commissions is an essential element of a properly functioning democracy. We believe strongly in open government. Meetings held by public officials to discuss public business, particularly when conducted with the public taxpayers’ money, are the taxpayers’ business. The Open Meetings Act is one of New Mexico’s 'good government' laws, and it deserves the full support of all New Mexicans.

Learn more about the Open Meetings Act!

Have your say!

We also welcome comments on the Town's web site and other issues!


Opt in to the County's Reverse Emergency Notification System!
An anonymous donor has funded the purchase of a Reverse Emergency Notification System for Grant County. Register your phones, cell phones and email addresses to receive alerts of evacuations, emergency events, road closures and other significant events. The link below will take you to Grant County's Reverse Emergency Notification System for the County. Learn more!


Silver City has updated its annual Parks and Activity Directory, a booklet with information for all ages about all kinds of activity opportunities available in Silver City. Learn more!


Learn more about wildfire dangers and how to create defensible spaces around your home, business and property. Learn more!


Sanitation Schedule
Schedules for the Town of Silver City recycling and refuse pick-up vary on some national holidays. See if your pick-up is effected!

Other useful sites:
Check out these sites for information on living, working and doing business in Silver City, Grant County, and New Mexico.

Town of Silver City
Box 1188
Silver City, NM 88062
575.538.3731

Solar Electricity Powers the Wastewater Treatment Plant


Wastewater plants and drinking water systems can account for up to one-third of a municipality’s total energy bill and these costs are invariably passed on to the consumer.   Treatment of wastewater and stormwater requires significant energy to run the pumps and the treatment systems. The drinking water system also uses a lot of energy to pump water from the 700 ft deep ground-water wells to the treatment plant, treat it with chlorine gas, and then pump it up to consumers.   Around the time of the inception of the Town of Silver City’s Office of Sustainability, an opportunity became available to decrease the Town’s wastewater treatment costs significantly through the installation of a photo-voltaic array that powers most of the wastewater treatment plant facility.  

Legislation enacted in 2011 by the State of New Mexico   created a unique funding opportunity for municipalities to install money saving photo-voltaic (PV) arrays through what is called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that requires no money out of pocket from the Town.  PPA legislation allows third party entities to install, own and maintain a solar array located on a host customers property (in this case the “host customer” is the Town of Silver City).  Since private corporations can get the tax benefits that municipalities cannot, they have the ability to install such a system, reap the tax benefits and sell the electrical power to the municipality at a cheaper rate than the local electric utility rate.  

The town of Silver City entered into a PPA contract with Affordable Solar, an Albuquerque-based solar provider, where the Town buys the power produced from the PV system at a set rate for a 20-year period.  The Town was able to lock into a solar renewable energy credit at a rate much higher than the current PNM credit by applying early in the process (over time the credits decreased as PNM’s renewable energy quota was reached).   The savings on the electric bill for the Town and its citizens is estimated to be between 2 and 4 million dollars over the 20-year contract.  These savings were calculated using the rate we were previously paying to the utility, the new lower flat rate we will be paying for the next 20 years, and predicting the increase in rates over that time period.  The solar facility is owned, operated and maintained by Affordable Solar.  The Town’s only responsibility is to buy the power from Affordable Solar for 20 years. The 51 page PPA legal document was years in the making and covers both parties in various defaults or problems which could arise.

Once the contract was signed in 2013, construction started, and in less than 6 months the 1 Megawatt array of photovoltaic panels covering six acres adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant was up and running. There are around 5,000 photovoltaic panels that make up the array.



 
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