The UNM Regents recently approved the installation of a photovoltaic shade structure at the McKinnon Family Tennis Center. Rio Grande Solar, LLC, the successful project bidder, agreed to provide matching funds for the solar system installed by their company. 

The total cost of this project is $484,000; $242,000 funded by Rio Grande Solar and the other $242,000 funded by the Physical Plant Department (PPD).

Construction begins this month, and will be completed in December of 2015. This project will include a 96kW solar photovoltaic system (PV) on a custom built shade structure over the tennis court bleachers, providing much needed shade for spectators.

Rio Grande Solar will design and build the shade structure, which is expected to generate 141,000 kWh per year of renewable energy from its photovoltaic panels. This translates to about a $15,000 reduction to UNM’s annual electric bill from PNM.  Also, this project is projected to reduce the UNM carbon footprint by 65 tons (MTCDE) per year.

“We’re very excited about this project. It will be our first solar system mounted on the ground and will be a visible representation of UNM’s commitment to sustainability. It came about through a partnership with Athletics and Rio Grande Solar.  We hope to continue working with them on future projects for the south campus.” said Jeff Zumwalt, director of PPD