Santa Fe Opera Goes Green with Solar Power and Water Reclamation

By Chris Ruel

The Santa Fe Opera is making strides toward sustainability with the installation of 431 solar panels. In a region that boasts 320 days of sun, the solar panels will produce 400,000 kW of clean energy, powering the Crosby Theater, rehearsal spaces, and the opera company’s administrative offices.

In a press release, the company stated that the savings will be $1.3 million over the life of the system.

Besides energy conservation, the opera house is also implementing sustainable water management practices.

The installation of a new PVC piping system through the stage floor allows water to be transferred to holding tanks beneath the theater.

These tanks capture up to 80,000 gallons of rainwater each summer from the theater’s roof, which is then diverted to irrigate the company’s grounds.

In the 2023 season, the Santa Fe Opera will stage productions of “Pelléas et Mélisansde,” “Rusalka,” and “Orfeo.” Each uses of water on stage.

General Director Robert K. Meya stated: “At the Santa Fe Opera, being an open-air venue, the landscape plays a leading role in each and every one of our productions. Not only do we have a responsibility to care for our natural environment, but transitioning to solar power aids the long-term financial health of the organization, and harness the power of the sun and we are absolutely thrilled to take advantage of this sustainable resource.”

The company is also taking steps to measure its use of raw materials in its shops and promoting the use of recyclable and biodegradable products in all concessions.