Conservation Beat
8:23 am
Mon April 9, 2012

NM Gains Ground in Solar Rankings

A new report places New Mexico among the nation's leaders in production of electricity from solar power.

The Solar Energy Industry Association says New Mexico ranked fourth last year in photovoltaic solar system installations, up from seventh in 2010.

Only California, New Jersey and Arizona saw more installations by homeowners, businesses and utilities.

The state Public Regulation Commission says New Mexico's growth in solar can be partly attributed to the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard, a mandate for Investor-Owned Utilities to generate 20% of their electricity from renewables by 2020.  According to the US Department of Energy, 24 states have similar rules in place.

The federal government also has provided grants and tax credits for solar energy projects, including a three year, $6-million dollar grant for green jobs training.

But there is still room for growth.  New Mexico ranks second in the nation for solar power potential.