Solar power is a success story for New Mexico.
It’s reducing energy costs, cutting carbon emissions, and spurring economic development across our state. In the past half-decade, the costs of installing solar have declined 43 percent – making solar cheaper than most fossil fuels. As mayors of three of the state’s largest cities, we’ve taken note: expanding solar can bring us cleaner air, more jobs at higher wages, and a more dynamic and resilient economy.
But there’s a hurdle to overcome. The reason solar still hasn’t yet surpassed 5 percent of our state’ electricity generation is that most people still can’t access the benefits. For New Mexicans who rent apartments, who don’t have roof or yard space, or who might lack access to financing, it’s difficult or impossible to install solar panels at home.
Thankfully, there’s a straightforward solution that New Mexico legislators can apply right away. By authorizing “community solar,” our state can supercharge solar development. We’re supporting the “Community Solar Act,” SB 281 and HB 210, sponsored by Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-Albuquerque, in the current legislative session, to empower our state to realize the potential.