Published on August 31st, 2013 | by James Ayre


International Indoor Soccer Arena In Albuquerque Goes Solar, Sees Energy Bills Disappear

August 31st, 2013 by  

Originally published on sister site Green Building Elements.

The International Indoor Soccer Arena (IISA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has gone solar! While — to be honest — this is the first time that I’ve ever heard of the arena, it’s certainly still good news anytime businesses switch to renewable energy sources — good news both for the environment and also for the business’s bottom line.

As anyone who has ever been involved in business knows, overhead expenses for things such as electricity often constitute a large proportion of the costs necessary to keep a business going — so why not simply remove some of those costs? That’s exactly what the International Indoor Soccer Arena did, when it installed a 44.95kW-DC roof mounted solar PV system earlier this year — now, instead of a large electric bill every month, they actually receive a credit for the excess electricity that they generate. During August — the first full billing cycle of solar production since the system was turned on — the electric bill dropped from almost $1500 a month (in July) to a credit of $41.33! Hard to have a problem with changes like those. 🙂

international indoor soccer solar power

Image Credit: The International Indoor Soccer Arena

The press release has more:

One year prior, the electric bill showed a usage of 9,520kWh with a bill of $1,428.43. By having solar installed, IISA saw a 103% reduction in their July electric bill. Gabe Nosseir, owner and general manager of IISA contacted Affordable Solar with the intention of gaining control of the electric costs associated with operating the indoor soccer arena. The arena’s pre-solar electric bill was averaging just over $1,300/month. After the installation of the 155 solar panels, the new average monthly electric bill will see a 92% reduction. The minimum energy output for year one is guaranteed to be 70,481 kWh. The estimated energy savings in year 1 will be $11,212. The estimated energy savings over 25 years will be $520,076. This is a significant savings for the successful operations of businesses of any size. The overall system cost was $143,000 and financing for the project was provided by Main Bank. The post-tax internal rate of return is a comparatively astounding 13%!

For those interested in checking the set-up out in person, the IISA is located right off of the south bound frontage road of Paseo del Norte in between Edith and Jefferson – 1311 Cuesta Arriba Ct NE, Albuquerque, 87113.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Kevin McGinnis

    Always good to see older buildings adopt solar instead of leaving it to buildings that were built with solar in mind.

  • JamesWimberley

    Thee aren´t many indoor soccer arenas in the Southwest, but a lot of shopping malls. These must have a similar load profile to the soccer arena: mainly a daytime a/c load. matching insolation very well. I´m sure their owners are all doing the arithmetic.

  • tomandersen

    In addition to the subsidies, this facility also pays nothing for being able to use the grid as a battery, when it most definitely is not.

    The cost of this installation is thus borne by those that pay for electricity, mostly renters and companies. Someone has to pay for the wires and backup generation.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      That is true. In practice roof-top solar does require real batteries in order to become dominant way to produce power.

      However I would guess that shale gas has significant load following abilities, so even without real batteries, grid might handle quite significant portion of solar panels. Especially in New Mexico where peak consumption is in mid summer due to air conditioning.

      In Germany situation is far more difficult, because there are no shale gas available and peak demand is in the middle of winter.

    • JamesWimberley

      And this is unfair why? Anybody else in New Mexico can go solar too. The arena´s main load is presumably daytime air conditioning, so its demands on the grid for lighting evening games is probably quite low. And if there´s a fixed component in the charge, they are paying for grid access.

      The object of renewable energy is to kill off fossil fuels, as quickly as possible. Since these enjoy large subsidies and inflict huge external costs, there is no reason for renewables advocates and users to feel guilty about the minor advantages they do enjoy.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    how much is the tax credit in New Mexico for this kind of solar system?

    • Bob_Wallace
      • Jouni Valkonen

        thanks, here they are:

        * Solar Market Development Tax Credit (10% of cost, $ 9k max) » $9,000
        * PNM – Customer Solar Large PV Program 10-100 kW: REC $ 0.05 per kWh x 7 yrs: to 2020 » $24,779 NM
        * Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit » $19,113
        * Federal Tax Credit (30% of Net Cost at Installation) » $64,200
        * Total subsidies: $117 000

        Subsidies are more significant than I thought, although also estimated $5 per watt are still quite high installation costs, so perhaps subsidies does reflect the true cost of solar, because installation costs in Albuquerque are higher than e.g. in Sydney.

        • Bob_Wallace

          You sure the project gets all of those? Some subsidies are a choice of “this or that?”.

          With wind a farm chooses between a PTC or ITC. Can’t have both.

  • Patrick Kamotho

    This is an inspiring article.

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