Proposed Alameda Open Space Solar Covered Parking

In cooperation with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is proposing to install solar coverings over the existing parking spaces at the Alameda Open Space. The purposes of the project are to:

  • Improve parking at Alameda Open Space
  • Save energy
  • Preserve our natural resources
  • Provide educational opportunities

As of its September 15, 2022, meeting, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Planning Commission voted to approve the site plan for this project. To read the officiation notification of decision, please click here.

solar flower single sq
charging station 2 sq
Alameda Bosque Trail Parking Rendering (3)


Collaborative project of City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and the Water Authority to:

  • Improve parking at Alameda Open Space
  • Save energy
  • Preserve our natural resources
  • Provide educational opportunities
water pump staation


  • Provides shade for cars and people on hot summer days
  • Provides cover from rain and snow
  • Saves energy long-term
  • Lowers Cost for the Water Authority
  • Offsets about 36% of raw water pump station
  • Preserves natural resources
  • Provides two (2) electric vehicle charging stations

Educational Opportunities

The project includes a SmartFlower Solar Flower that tracks the sun’s movements north-south and east-west.  Students and adults will learn about how solar energy is produced through various techniques and how the SmartLower is able to follow the sun. It knows when to retract and when to deploy automatically in cases of high wind, hail, or heavy rain.

electric vehicle charging station

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Two (2) electric vehicle charging stations, with two outlets each, will be able to charge four (4) electric vehicles at any given time. Charging stations will be free to anyone interested and will be located in designated spaces for electric vehicles.


Conceptual Drawing of Project

Click on image to open larger version.

Public Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

February 1, 2022

Site Plan

Site Improvements

Construction Impacts/Updates

Construction of the project is pending an approved site permit from the City of Albuquerque Environmental Planning Commission. The Water Authority has selected Affordable Solar as the contractor for the project. Once EPC approval is received, the Water Authority will work with Affordable Solar to finalize plans for the project and will seek input from the community on the final design.


Affordable Solar will purchase and install solar generation equipment and build the solar-covered parking canopies. Upon completion of the project, the Water Authority will purchase energy from the facility.


Construction is tentatively scheduled to take place in the fall/winter to minimize inconvenience to those who utilize the Alameda Open Space and will last for four to six (4-6) months. During construction all walking, cycling and equestrian trails will remain open. However, the parking lot will be closed. Parking will be available off of Rio Grande Blvd. NW south of Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE in the Open Space Shining River Parking Area.


Prior to and during construction, regular email updates will be sent out. Please sign up for construction updates so that we can keep you informed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question below to reveal the answer.

Your water rates will not go up. The project will be paid for by the selected solar contractor, who will then lease power from the facility to the Water Authority.

A main reason is the close proximity of the Water Authority's raw water pump station, which draws water from the Rio Grande and pumps it to the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project to be treated as drinking water. It is feasible to provide about 36% of the electricity the pump station needs via solar power. Another reason is that the project offers an improvement for the individuals who park their vehicles in the designated parking space, particularly during the summer or winter. Finally, this project helps the Water Authority save energy long-term and lowers costs, so that the Water Authority can keep its water rates low. It is clean energy that helps preserve our natural resources.

No, the current number of parking spaces will remain.

No. Cameras are not a part of this project.

Yes, some trees that are near the parking area will be removed. However, the solar contractor will plant new trees to the west and south of the parking area.

No. All trails will remain open.

In order to build the project as quickly and efficiently as possible, the parking area will be closed during construction (anticipated in fall/winter). Parking will be available at the Shining River parking area on Rio Grande Blvd. NW. (See Construction Impacts/Updates section on this website for a map of where the parking is located.)

No, we do not anticipate any impacts since construction will be confined to the parking lot area.

Yes. We will work with the selected contractor to assure a portion of the canopies are high enough and long enough  to accommodate school busses, horse trailers and other larger vehicles.

We want to hear from you! If you have questions, comments or would like more information about the project, please fill out the form below.

(if you would prefer a phone call)

Or you can contact:

Patti Watson
CWA Strategic Communications
505-245-3134 office
505-269-9691 cell


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