Community solar bill killed by New Mexico State House

New Mexico state House members don’t support development of what are called community solar projects and recently rejected such a bill.

By a vote of 36-28, the New Mexico House came out against expansion of access to solar energy in the state, according to a  the New Mexico Political Report.

Community solar projects, also referred to as “solar gardens,” are programs in which the energy generated by local solar systems are shared among energy subscribers. The power generation is typically located in a central location and distributed to subscribers in the area.

Five Democrats sponsored HB 9, including Speaker of the House Brian Egolf and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero of Albuquerque.

“I’m introducing the act in order to be able to open access to multiple customers to share the benefit of one single, shared solar project,” Roybal Caballero said.

The bill would direct the EMNRD to develop and manage a community solar program, and would direct the PRC to develop rules for the program. It included a five-year period for the state to evaluate the program and adjust it if needed.

Rep. Greg Nibert, R-Roswell, and others argued that the proposal could impact grid reliability for electric providers.

“I really do think it ought to be studied before we start placing potential problems for those companies that provide reliable, immediate electrical power to us,” Nibert said.

Source: New Mexico Political Report