Santa Fe Skies Solar Power Project

Santa Fe Skies RV Park was built in 1998-99 and was originally intended to provide 50 amp service to every site in the park. This has allowed us to remain up to date with the power requirements of the modern RV. This does however mean that our annual electric bill is rather high. As the power company (PNM) asks the Public Regulatory Comission for an electric rate increase, Santa Fe Skies decided to install a solar electric system to offset a portion of their total electric use. The current project cost was $1.34 Million.

What did you do?

The PV array was installed in 2010 - 2011 with an operational commissioning of Earth Day 2011. It consists of 192.5 kw DC of Sunpower 238 PV Panels. Annually it produces 50-70% of the total electric used by the RV Park. The system is installed on the south face of the property, near the Yucca Loop.

How far have you gotten?

March 7, 2015
Still going strong, the system has been up and running for almost 4 years now. We have had 1 inverter replaced due to a lightning strike, but recent verification of all arrays and their output is promising.

June 15, 2013
The system has been running for over 2 years and is still outputting more that the original projected values.

April 22, 2011
Today all the final contracts were signed and returned to PNM for our REC Credit program. Each meter is installed and we are now running on solar power!

March 21, 2011
All Panels are in place and the wiring is in progress. It might be done as soon as March 29, 2011. The grid connections are in submission and the first group will tenatively be connected this week.

March 8, 2011
The install team is going to have all the panels mounted this week. The next step is wiring and box mounting followed by commissioning. Positive Energy (the solar installation company) is scheduled to be finished by the end of March.

December 27, 2010
Over the holidays, we shot a short video about the status of the solar project, check it out at We would also like to announce that the outer fence was completed today. The inner barrier fence will be postponed until more progress is completed on the panel and wiring installation.

December 19th, 2010
As of December 19th, the piles (support posts) for the solar panels have been installed, and the fencing is in progress. We are currently burying trenches and waiting for the snow to melt. In addition, the solar panels are going to be delivered on Monday December 20th, and we will start putting up solar modules after the holiday season. The actual solar panels are scheduled to go up on January 15, 2011.

December 1, 2010
Currently we are under construction. We have obtained a development permit, and a grading permit from Santa Fe County, as well as a building permit from Construction Industries division. All nine cisterns have been installed. The cisterns are used for rain catchment. They will gather rainfall from the panels to be used for cleaning off dust and irrigation. The cistern pump station has been installed. We are currently trenching for Electrical to each of the 8 service panels located on the property. 3 of 8 runs are ready to be buried and it is expected that we will be able to complete he remaining runs in the next 8 days.

October 19, 2010
We have obtained all the needed financing for the project. We have given a down payment on the solar panels to the manfacturer. We are awaiting final permit approval by Santa Fe county. We have purchased al large part of the underground infrastructure for rain catchment.

Why Solar?

New Mexico is one of the best states in the US for solar. While solar energy may only produce for a limited amount of time, it is low profile and low maintenance depending on system type. On average, our area produces viable solar energy 6.3 hours a day every day.