T or C Brewing Company in Truth or Consequences on the USDA RD REAP program.

We moved to New Mexico from the Pacific Northwest, and so the abundant sunshine here was an obvious, valuable asset to our business. After buying a 4,000 square foot building in downtown Truth or Consequences for the brewery, we began exploring the options for covering the rooftop with solar panels. The individuals from SunPower were friendly experts who advised us and ultimately deployed the array.

What tools, resources or financing did you use to establish your project?

The initial investment was daunting and we spent quite a bit of time navigating the financing options. In the end, we utilized part of a LEDA economic development grant, a USDA renewable energy grant, and the federal solar tax credit to make it all work.

What benefits have you realized?

Our solar installation is estimated to keep 791 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere per year, which is huge. It is also great to see the hundreds of dollars of credit on our utility bills.

What challenges did you overcome to implement your project?

We knew there were grants available, but each one was complex and required a lot of time and attention to apply, but we're so glad we did.

What advice would you give neighboring communities who are trying to implement a similar project?

Explore your financing options and go as big as you can! Virtually limitless free energy from the sun is a wonderful asset here in New Mexico. It doesn't matter how you feel about climate change, energy efficiency, the environment, or the oil industry. Installing solar panels in New Mexico is just smart business.