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2015 Green Initiatives

solarPhase1After a severe weather, or whenever there was heavy rain or snow, the roof would begin to leak and inches of water would pour in on the north end of the warehouse. The water would damage food and place it at-risk, impacting the amount and types of food we have available in our inventory.  As the largest hunger-relief organization in the state, we were concerned water-damaged food wouldn’t be fit for distribution for the purpose of feeding our hungry neighbors.

As with any building, upgrades need to occur on a consistent basis to keep the facility in good working order.  Roofs are no different.  The roof on the Food Bank’s current facility was installed more than 30 years ago. After many years of wear and tear, the roof needed to be replaced.

While planning for the new roof, the perfect opportunity came about to install a solar array at the same time. Updating the roof and installing a solar array on the north end of our warehouse is known as Phase I.

Thanks to a $260,000 grant from the City of Albuquerque, we received enough funding to replace the entire north half of the warehouse roof.  Phase I was completed in late 2015.

Upgraded Roofing Material

Replacing the roof allowed us to upgrade the type of roof construction material.  The old roof was made up of a rock and tar solution.  The new roof consists of a white, TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofing system. According to its manufacturer Firestone, the single-ply white roofing system is heat-reflective and energy efficient.  It is also resistant to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure.  Its white appearance reflects heat away from the building to make it significantly cooler inside the warehouse during the summer months, and also more energy efficient in the winter months.  By alleviating the drastic temperature fluctuations during the winter and summer months, produce and other food items remain fresher for a longer period of time. Plus, it makes a more comfortable work environment for employees and volunteers who are prepping food for distribution.

Roof-Top Solar Array

The updated roof allowed us to add a 366-kilowatt solar array placed directly on top of the northern half of the new roof.  Installing a solar array at the same time significantly will impact our long-term energy costs and use. The solar array supplements energy needs from PNM’s grid and also saves us additional funds for each watt generated.

In partnership with Affordable Solar, National Roofing, Unirac, Firestone and the City of Albuquerque, Roadrunner has an updated roof and array which will save us significantly in energy costs over the 25 year life-span of the roof.  The 366-kilowatt array is estimated to:

  • Generate enough electricity to meet 45-60 percent of total on-peak usage
  • Save approximately $1.2 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

Southern Warehouse Roof/Solar Array Expansion – Phase II

In late 2015, we continued to seek funding to replace the roof on the south end of the warehouse.  At that time, KOB TV agreed to air a story on the newly installed solar array.  During the story, we invited others in the community to support, fund, and cover the cost of Phase II.  The second phase would allow us to replace the roof over the southern end of the warehouse, and expand the solar array from Phase I.

One KOB TV viewer saw the story, contacted us, and decided to pay for Phase II.  Needless to say, we were ecstatic with this news! With the second half of the roof funding in place, we approached our solar partners once again to help expand the solar array on the south end of the facility.  While the Food Bank doesn’t own the roof-top solar array, the expanded array will continue to create energy savings every year for the next 25 years.

In the late spring of 2016, the second phase of the roof replacement was completed.  Currently, we estimate the second phase of the solar array will be installed in mid-2016.

Thank You!

Thanks to Affordable Solar, National Roofing, Unirac, Firestone, the City of Albuquerque, and our anonymous donor who helped ensure both phases could come to fruition.

If you are interested in learning more about our Green Initiatives or taking a tour, contact Teresa Johansen at 505.349.8897.

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