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Metropolitan Detention Center

Metropolitan Detention Center Celebrates Completion of Energy Savings Project


Bernalillo County – Today the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, and Yearout Energy, unveiled the results of a comprehensive energy project at the facility.

“Bernalillo County is pleased with the outcome of this energy project. Working together with Yearout Energy, we were able to upgrade vital maintenance systems, which will drastically cut utility costs and help propel the county’s goal of reducing our carbon footprint going forward,” says County Manager Julie Morgas Baca.

Upgrades completed as part of this project include:

  • 7,000 lighting fixtures replaced with LED lights and controls
  • Solar panel system installed on facility’s roof
  • Boilers converted to methane-fueled system from nearby landfill
  • Roofing repairs, with additional insulation added
  • 30 new high-efficiency electrical transformers installed
  • Vacuum Sanitation System upgraded with high-efficiency motors
  • Replaced more than 1,000 tons of cooling with new, high-efficiency, HVAC equipment (with evaporative pre-cooling)

Project Cost and Anticipated Savings:

  • Project Cost: Approximately $13.9 million (Bernalillo County paid approximately $2 million upfront. The rest of the project was funded through anticipated utility and operational savings through a Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance contract with Yearout Energy.)
  • Estimated Year One Utility Savings: Approximately $534,000
  • Estimated Year One Operations and Maintenance Savings: Approximately $79,000
  • Estimated Utility Rebate: Approximately $298,000
  • Estimated Percent Reduction in Annual Utility Costs: 49.8%

“The Bernalillo County Commission takes seriously our obligation to protect our environment by reducing energy consumption and waste across all our facilities and operations. The results of this MDC project can be equated to planting 880 acres of trees or not burning 3.3 million pounds of coal,” says Bernalillo County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins.

Construction at MDC began in January 2018 and took approximately 16 months to complete, with all substantial upgrades wrapping up this month.

MDC Chief of Corrections Ralph Fernandez added, “The completion of this project is exciting for my team because it will immediately result in reduced maintenance efforts and costs for MDC. Working in a construction environment has been challenging at times, but my staff rose to the challenge, and I’m proud of their efforts to make this project a success.”

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center opened in 2003, and at the time, was jointly managed by Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque. Bernalillo County took over full management of the facility in 2006. At the time of construction, the building was designed to be state-of-the-art, with the layout and maintenance systems designed for efficient operation. As the facility aged, county staff encountered maintenance challenges. These challenges, coupled with Bernalillo County’s desire to run energy-efficient facilities, inspired this project.


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*Note: please see attached documents and pictures for additional facts about the project and more information about Bernalillo County’s partnership with Yearout Energy*



About Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is 1,160 square miles and is New Mexico’s most populous county with more than 676,000 residents. Bernalillo County government provides a wide range of public services to residents who live in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos and Tijeras and the 111,000 residents who live outside the village and city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county. Bernalillo County employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual operating budget and capital investments of more than $650 million. Elected officials include five county commissioners, assessor, clerk, probate judge, sheriff, and treasurer.

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