Like many others here in Santa Fe (see below), I am very passionate about promoting Solar in New Mexico, where the sun shines 300 days a year and where it simply makes sense to go solar!

It all started as I was making the decision to go solar in the fall of 2015.

I had a lot of questions: How many panels? Which panels? Which manufacturer? Which provider? For what cost? Which warranties? And the list goes on. 

As I was gathering more information, obtained by reading various sites and articles and by asking a lot of questions, I found out that going solar turned out to be more complex than I had anticipated — especially being able to choose a solar system that’s right for one’s needs and expectations. 

After compiling my findings for my own needs, including comparison tables and charts, it became clear that these findings, which are not readily available elsewhere, could also benefit my fellow New Mexicans, and ensure that any potential consumers have access to sufficient information to make an informed decision when purchasing a solar system that meets their needs.

And what better place than a website to share the information all in one place. Think of it as a resource providing detailed, accessible and clear information. 

Going solar makes so much sense, and hopefully, with the information available on this site, you will feel confident that you can go solar with a system that’s right for you!

Did you know that:

The Sun delivers more energy to the Earth in an hour than we use in a year...

... from fossil, nuclear, and all renewable sources combined:


~ 4,000 square miles of solar panels would produce the electricity needed to power the US

As discussed herewith an average efficiency of ~15%, a m2 of solar PV Silicon cells would produce ~5 kWh of solar energy x ~15% = ~0.75 kWh/m2/day or ~275 kWh/m2/year.

The demand for electricity in the US is ~3.7 million GWh/year - that's ~3.7 x 1012 kWh/year!

The necessary area in m2 is therefore (~3.7 x 1012 kWh/year) / (~275 kWh/m2/year) 
      = 1.345 x 1010 m21.345 x 104 km2 = 13,450 km2 = 5,193 mi2 (since 1 mi2 = 2.59 km2)

If the efficiency is ~20%, the necessary area becomes ~10,136 km2 = 3,913 mi2

Although this may seem like a huge area, it represents only 0.05% of area of the continental United States (which is 7.6 x 106 km2).

Such a result is confirmed here following slightly different assumptions.
And here, the authors discuss how much would be needed to power the entire world using either solar panels or wind turbines.

~85% of your electricity from PNM is coming from coal, nuclear, and natural gas...

... from power plants hundreds of miles away, if you’re a PNM customer. 

PNM's generation' portfolio was:
In 2012: 62% coal, 22% nuclear, 10% natural gas, and 6% renewable (wind & solar).
In 201537% coal, 10% nuclear, 37% natural gas, and 16% renewable (wind & solar).

In just 3 years, PNM increased its reliance on natural gas from 10% to 37%. Natural gas production has been increasing at a fast rate. And in 2016, CO2 emissions from natural gas are reaching levels of CO2 emissions from coal

Why not have most of your electricity come via the clean, renewable sun from panels a few feet above your head on your roof? 

Getting off of fossil fuels...

... has always been the right thing to do with respect to the environment, public health, and preventing global climate disruption.
But at this point, it is the right thing to do for anyone who is money conscious, and who values independence and self-responsibility!

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not."- 

The Lorax (by Dr. Seuss) ...Sums it up!


Vote Solar

Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to make solar affordable and accessible to more Americans.

Vote Solar works at the state level all across the country to support the policies and programs needed to re-power our grid with clean energy.

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition or SVTC

The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition is a diverse non-profit organization engaged in research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry.

New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department or EMNRD

Ken Hughes & Mark Gaiser both work at the Energy Minerals & Natural Resources Department (EMNRDin the Energy Conservation and Management Division as the Clean Energy Program Managers.

 Ken Hughes (kenhughes.org/)Mark Gaiser
 Responsibilities- Building Energy Efficiency (Schools & Local Government)
- Efficient Use of Energy - Utility Programs
Sustainable Building Tax Credit - Residential
- Residential Solar Tax Credit 
- Solar Energy 
- Waste Not - Increasing Energy Efficiency in Treating Wastewater
 Phone #(505) 476-3320(505) 476-3318

Santa Fe County Energy Specialist

If you live in Santa Fe County, they have dedicated resources for a Santa Fe County Energy Specialist. 

Her name is Claudia Borchert, and her phone number is (505) 992-9872. 

Click here for Craig O'Hare's 2-page Solarize Santa Fe flyer. Craig O'Hare was the previous Santa Fe County Energy Specialist, and here for an article Craig wrote for the Green Fire Times.

Sandrine Gaillard (the author)

 My first encounter with Solar  was when I was in engineering  school in France in the early  2000s. We studied solar panels  for a short while, but they were  still very expensive at the time,  so they were not financially  feasible for most people. Moreover, Paris and its metropolitan area (where I grew up) are not exactly known for their overwhelming sunshine...

In the Summer of 2015, I became responsible to help Solarize Santa Fe for the Sierra Club, a joint effort of dedicated, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable Sierra Club members, officials and residents of Santa Fe County, the City of Santa Fe and the state of New Mexico. 

I have been living just outside of Santa Fe since 2007 and I joined the Executive Committee for the Northern New Mexico Group for the Sierra Club in December 2014.

I have always been passionate about the environment, and especially clean energy. At an early age, I wanted to rid the world of its nuclear waste, and later went on to specialize in fusion energy research.

I obtained an MS in Energy & Environment Engineering (2003), an MS in Physics (2005), and a PhD in Plasma Physics (2009), and occasionally consult on scientific matters.

Although carrying the simple message of Solarizing one's home was exciting at the time, it became clear that actually taking that step was more difficult than I had anticipated when I started shopping for my own panels. There was no better way to educate myself than to do the research myself, and this research is what I am excited to share in this website.

I am hoping that as many people as possible take the plunge and go Solar Now in Santa Fe, New Mexico and everywhere across the country, to limit our dependency on fossil fuels as much and as quickly as possible, as a gift to the generations to come.

I can be contacted at contact@gosolarnownm.info.