Setting the Record Straight on Solar

March 16th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Denise Tessier

An Albuquerque Journal reader’s letter to the editor March 13, “Something Doesn’t Quite Add Up Here,”  challenged information contained in the caption for last week’s Journal photo of the new solar energy array – 1,001 panels that will provide electricity to the Fire Academy, animal shelter and city environmental offices on the city’s West Side.

Referring to the photo/caption that appeared on the Business cover March 6 (for which no online link is available), the writer criticized the Journal for repeating Mayor Richard Berry’s claim that $44,000 will be saved annually, enough to repay the $1.2 million cost to taxpayers over 15 years.  The letter writer stated:

Simple math tells you it would take $80,000 in savings per year to repay the “investment” in 15 years . . . and it would take over 27 years to repay with the yearly savings claimed by the mayor.

He then concluded:

Why must the media continue to print environmental claims without question?

As we’ve noted often here at ABQJournalWatch.com, the Journal rarely corrects misinformation or misunderstandings of letter writers (or columnists) on its Op-Ed pages. In this case, one might have read this Albuquerque resident’s letter and thought, “Aha, another renewable energy boondoggle!”

But to its credit, the Journal replied with this Editor’s Note:

In addition to producing about $44,000 in energy a year, the city also will receive $37,000 in annual renewable-energy credits from PNM. That information was deleted from the final version of the caption. Federal funds helped pay for construction.

The Journal set the record straight.

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s worth noting.

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