Solar Panel Laws in New Mexico

New Mexico solar panel laws

Solar Panel Laws in New Mexico – Incentives and Protections

The solar panel laws in New Mexico provide incentives and protections to encourage the production of solar and other forms of renewable energy.
New Mexico’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) sets requirements for renewable energy production based on the type of utility companies in the state.
Investor-owned utilities are required to obtain 20% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Of this amount, at least 20% must be from solar power.

Rural electric cooperatives are required to obtain 10% from renewable sources by 2020.

Incentives

New Mexico’s Net Metering Program

New Mexico has a net metering program; however, it only applies to the three investor-owned utilities.
Municipal utilities are exempt.

This program allows producers of renewable energy to sell any unused power to utility companies and receive credits or funds in return.

The utility companies set the rates and pay out at the utility’s avoided cost rate.

Solar Panel Laws in New Mexico and Renewable Energy Certificates

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are performance based incentives issued to generators who produce renewable energy.

Investor-owned utilities purchase these certificates from the generators to meet their RPS requirements.

This operates in addition to the net metering program.

Interconnection Requirements

Interconnected customers must complete an application, pay an application fee and comply with local and national standards.

All require a redundant external disconnect device.

Insurance may be required depending on the capacity of the system.

Tax Credits

New Mexico offers a state tax credit on the purchase and installation of a solar power system.

 This credit is applied on the state personal income tax form.

PACE Financing

The PACE program operates on a county level.

 It allows residents to purchase renewable energy systems with PACE funding, then have the amount financed added as a lien on their property and paid back through their property taxes.

Protections

Under the Solar Rights Act of 2007, New Mexico determined solar energy to be a property right.

It created protection against counties and municipalities restricting solar power by making void and unenforceable any codes, covenants or deed restrictions that prohibited solar use after July 1, 1978.

However, it did create an exception for historic districts.
It also allows a property owner to protect solar access by creating an easement to prevent shading from adjacent properties.
This protection requires notification to neighbors as well as filing requirements with the local zoning authority.
With several incentives and protections in place for both solar and renewable energy sources, New Mexico has created a strong foundation for green energy production.

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