Solar Energy Rule Change Is Bright News For New Mexico

Media Releases

Environment New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On Dec. 18, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) reversed a November decision that would have cut in half the amount of solar energy utilities were required to produce. After significant outcry from the public, the PRC changed course and ruled to grant one renewable energy certificate for one kilowatt-hour of solar energy. The resulting decision will continue to stimulate the production of solar energy in New Mexico. 

“We’re glad the PRC recognized that now is not the time to slow down our solar boom,” said Dominick Lawton, field associate with Environment New Mexico. “As the second-sunniest state in the country, New Mexico needs to move forward to a bright solar energy future, not backward. Environment New Mexico has set a goal to get ten percent of our state’s energy from the sun by 2020, which will be more easily achieved now that the PRC has reversed last month’s ruling.”

The PRC’s earlier decision would have allowed utilities to meet their legal solar energy requirements while producing half as much actual solar energy. This week’s ruling, however, means that solar is now valued equivalently to wind energy, holding utilities to fair standards and requiring them to produce more kilowatt-hours of energy from the sun. 

The decision comes after a year in which New Mexico was ravaged by extreme weather events fueled by global warming, including droughts, wildfires and floods. “Now is the time to move toward a clean energy future and the PRC’s decision to forgo weakening our solar policies is helping to light the way,” said Lawton.