Senate Passes Bill to Extend Solar Tax Credit

Supports Job-Creating Solar Industry

Environment New Mexico

Santa Fe – Today, the New Mexico Senate passed a bill to extend the residential, commercial, and agricultural tax credit for solar installations. The ten percent tax credit for a solar installation was set to expire at the end of 2016. This bill changes the expiration date to December 31, 2020, providing four additional years to take advantage of the tax credit.

The bill, SB 391: Extend the Solar Market Development Tax Credit sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart (D – ABQ), passed with overwhelming bipartisan support 37-5.

“New Mexico is the second sunniest state in the country, yet New Jersey gets more of their energy from the sun than we do. This bill will help New Mexicans take advantage of this abundant resource that doesn’t use water or pollute our air or water,” stated Sanders Moore, director of Environment New Mexico. “We encourage the House to pass this bill as well.”

This bill helps more New Mexicans take advantage of a pollution-free energy source that also creates jobs. New Mexico was just ranked in the top ten states for renewable energy job growth by Environmental Entrepreneurs.

“This is a jobs bill. There are more than 60 solar businesses in New Mexico employing thousands of people across the state. These jobs are homegrown and cannot be outsourced,” said Sen. Mimi Stewart, the bill’s sponsor. “Subsequently, improving air quality reduces the number of children’s asthma attacks. We need to continue supporting the solar industry that provides jobs, protects our environment, and improves public health.”

Solar energy has increased an average of 81 percent over the past three years in New Mexico, putting the state in the top ten producers of solar energy.

“From 2012 to 2013, the number of jobs in the solar industry in New Mexico grew 73% to 1,900, providing high-paying jobs to New Mexicans across the state,” said Glenn Schiffbauer of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce. “This bill will help maintain that growth.”

The Senate bill now moves to the House of Representatives, where an identical bill is waiting passage out of the House Ways and Means Committee.