MetroABQ Blog

RoadRunner Food Bank's Green Initiatives: Rooftop Solar Array

I love getting up onto rooftops. A vast number of properties in the MetroABQ are single-story, so being up on a roof two stories or more is a treat: we have some incredible skyline/mesa, bosque & Sandia Mountain views from vantage points across the city. For the above image, I found myself on the rooftop of the 133,300sqft Roadrunner Food Bank warehouse, topped by one of the largest commercial rooftop solar arrays in the state. See the drone of it here.

Roadrunner Food Bank does amazing things to weekly help feed 70,000 folks in the state of New Mexico: they have programs like the Child & Senior Hunger Initiatives, they rescue food from farmers & grocery stores that would not otherwise be utilized, they have an in-house grocery "store" & cafeteria for the neediest, they employ many dozens of workers, among many other enterprises that employ people.

They are also environmentally responsible. They accept recyclables from across the state & recycle everything that can be reused, even freezing older meat to donate to wildlife at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Candy Kitchen, NM.

Each year Roadrunner describes their Green Initiatives for the year. In 2015 & 2016, two of the initiatives included installing a TPO roof installed on most of the warehouse & adding the huge photovoltaic panel array you see above.


From the site: 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 PNMs 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 doesnt 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. 


To make donations, contact Roadrunner Food Bank is now on my contributionlist...




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