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Unveil New Mexico's Largest Solar Array At The Bell Group Headquarters

The installation covers 5 acres of parking area and will generate over 1,600,000 kWh of clean electricity annually - enough to meet 80 percent of The Bell Group's electricity needs.
by Staff Writers
Albuquerque NM (SPX) Aug 26, 2010
SCHOTT Solar PV, VE Group and Affordable Solar Group has unveiled New Mexico's largest solar array (1.1MW) on The Bell Group's headquarters' parking structure in Albuquerque, NM. The project uses over 5,000 locally-made solar modules by SCHOTT Solar PV, Inc, a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing, with US headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The installation covers 5 acres of parking area and will generate over 1,600,000 kWh of clean electricity annually - enough to meet 80 percent of The Bell Group's electricity needs. This locally generated clean energy will avoid approximately 1,125 tons of CO(2) emissions annually, while the solar structures provide shaded parking for employee and visitor vehicles under the hot New Mexico sun.

The project involved a significant number of jobs in the Albuquerque region by utilizing local manufacturers, contractors and subcontractors from various trades.

The project implementation team consisted of Affordable Solar Group, Albuquerque-based solar equipment distributor and project developer; VE Group (Valley Electric), the prime contractor with offices in New Mexico and Colorado; and VE Group's local and regional subcontractors including Coupland-Moran Engineers, US Prefab, National Roofing and others who together carried the project from conception to completion.

The Bell Group's facility management team provided support throughout all phases of the project.

SCHOTT Solar employs 340 people at its Albuquerque facility, Affordable Solar Group 35 employees in Albuquerque, and VE Group over 50 employees in New Mexico and Colorado, many of whom were employed by The Bell Group's solar project.

"As a business, we're always looking for ways to reduce our costs, and our new solar installation is lowering our electricity bills with clean, reliable energy generated by a local, high quality product," said Alan Bell, Managing Director of The Bell Group, an Albuquerque-based industrial distributor.

"It also helps us to meet our responsibilities as a business committed to environmentally friendly practices and the local economy."

"SCHOTT Solar is committed to being part of a strong solar industry in Albuquerque and the United States and this project is a great example of creating jobs along the solar value chain - from the manufacture of solar panels to their installation on the Bell Group's parking lot," said Gerry Fine, President and CEO of SCHOTT Solar PV, Inc.

"Thanks to New Mexico's commitment to renewable energy, SCHOTT is creating good local jobs and a clean energy product that feeds back into Albuquerque to support the city's economy and environment."

"Solar projects like The Bell Group installation create great jobs drawing skilled tradespeople from a variety of construction disciplines. These jobs build up Albuquerque's clean energy economy and grow New Mexico's solar industry during this time when traditional construction projects are at a low point," said Mark Hensley, President of VE Group (Valley Electric).

"PNM (local utility) and New Mexico state incentives for solar make local solar projects like The Bell Group project economically feasible. Using Albuquerque-made SCHOTT Solar PV panels helped us keep the transportation-related environmental impact as low as possible while providing our client with a high quality product," said David Hughes, President of Affordable Solar Group.

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