Community Solar

Overview

With Community Solar, individuals, households, neighborhoods, and communities will have access to the solar energy market.  

View Special Presentation on Community Solar

Community Solar Program
August 24, 2019
Presentations by:

Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (HD 13)
Rep. Abbas Akhil (HD 20)
Jeff Antencio, Tribal Administrator, Picuris Pueblo
Mariel Nanasi, President, New Energy Economy (NEE)
Moderated by Sara Mayane

Clean Energy for New Mexico

Community solar gives power to the people
Albuquerque Journal
– Feb 20, 2019

By Tim Keller – Mayor of Albuquerque, Alan Webber – Mayor of Santa Fe and Ken Miyagashima – Mayor of Las Cruces

Here’s the clear vision of community solar: Allow New Mexicans to access clean energy without installing solar panels on their own roofs or yards. Community solar means the development of shared solar projects that provide households, businesses, local governments and other entities to get their electricity.  Read article.

New Mexico bill would let communities choose where they buy electricity, or make their own
Las Cruces Sun News – January 29, 2019

By Algernon D’Ammassa

Aiming for lower electricity prices and cleaner energy sources, New Mexico could become the eighth state to permit local communities to purchase power from suppliers other than utility companies such as PNM and El Paso Electric, under legislation introduced Monday in Santa Fe.  Read article.

New Energy Economy

Bills Presented in 2019 Legislative Session

Community Solar Act (HB 210)

Objective: Allow local jurisdictions and tribes to develop, produce, distribute, and sell renewable energy.

This act would be implemented through community solar programs by which a utility provider (e.g., PNM) offers customers the option of accessing solar energy produced by a community solar facility through a subscription process. The bill, Community Solar Act (HB 210) was introduced, but not advanced, in the NM State House of Representatives during the 2019 legislative session. It is considered likely to be passed if/when reintroduced in 2020.

Local Choice Energy Act (SB 374)

Objective: Allow individuals to buy energy from locally developed solar arrays, enabling renters and homeowners to purchase solar power without the cost of installation.

This act would be implemented through local choice energy programs in which a municipality, county or tribal jurisdiction has the authority to aggregate their electric loads and make decisions regarding the purchase and sale of locally-produced energy. This is a comprehensive and far-reaching bill that will be reintroduced with a goal of passage in 2021

What Happened in 2019?

SB 374 Local Choice Energy Act and HB 210 Community Solar Act

Despite 74% of Americans agreeing “we should use solar power as much as possible”, despite a dramatic drop in the cost of solar power in the last decade, and despite New Mexico generating only 4% of its energy through solar power though it has some of the highest solar irradiance in the country, these energy bills went nowhere in the 2019 session. Read the full report.

Taking Action Now

  • Contact Governor Lujan Grisham – ask her to put SOLAR ENERGY on the 2020 call. Contact info.
  • Contact your NM Legislators. They appreciate hearing their constituents views.
  • Attend interim committee meetings and hearings of the legislature between now and December. Meeting Schedule
  • Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.  Letters to the editor are great advocacy tools that can reach a broader audience.
  • Talk to others at the Solar Fiesta – October 26, 2019.  Be a part of helping others understand Community Solar and its benefits by volunteering for the DPBC table at the 2019 NM Solar Fiesta.