2021 Legislative Session Overview

By Jim DesJardins, REIA-NM Executive Director Introduction: The 2021 legislative session was notable for the fact, that even in a pandemic, that it did happen.  While committee hearings were remote, the Senate chamber was in person and the House chamber was a combination of remote and in-person.  The uniqueness of the format, along with a number of controversial bills that took a lot of time, resulted in less bills being passed. Summary of Bills: Some of the controversial bills in the 2021 legislative session included SB10-Repeal Abortion Ban (passed and signed), HB20-Healthy Work Places Act known as Paid Sick Leave (Passed and Signed), HB2-Cannabis Regulation Act (Passed) and SB84-Community Solar Act (Passed and Signed).  Legislation that was of particular interest to REIA included SB84-Community Solar Act and SB201/HB262-Energy Storage System Tax Credit. SB84-Community Solar Act was very interesting to observe as it evolved through the session.  There was a working

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Local REIA member is expanding and hiring.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Contact: Bruce Krasnow, NM Economic Development Dept. Bruce.Krasnow@state.nm.us 505- 795-0119 Sarah Wheeler, City of Albuquerqueswheeler@cabq.gov505-382-3150 April 8, 2021 State Assistance Helps Affordable Solar Expand in N.M.Homegrown company plans to add 70 jobs over next 5 years ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The State of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque have pledged economic assistance, contingent upon approval by the Albuquerque City Council, so that Affordable Solar can double the size of its Albuquerque fabrication facility and corporate headquarters.  Affordable Solar, established in New Mexico in 1998, offers large-scale solar and energy storage integration throughout the Western United States. The company has seen rapid growth with its technologies and plans to scale up business as state and national policies boost renewable energy and combat climate change. The project requires approval of the Albuquerque City Council.  “Albuquerque is becoming an important hub for the alternative energy industry and supporting Affordable Solar means we can help the

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Solar market shining brighter again in New Mexico

BY KEVIN ROBINSON-AVILA / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 at 8:57pm Dylan Westerlin of NM Solar Group carries solar panels on the roof of First Presbyterian Church, 215 Locust NE. The state Legislature has approved Senate Bill 29, which offers a 10% state income tax credit for individual solar systems. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal) Steven Cordova, left, and Dylan Westerlin, right, both of NM Solar Group, install solar panels on the roof of the First Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal) Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal After nearly a two-year slump in New Mexico’s solar market, business is booming again at Albuquerque-based installation and wholesale firm Affordable Solar. Company revenue grew by 330% to $140 million in 2019, CEO Ryan Centerwall said. That includes 18% growth in residential installations and robust hikes in commercial and utility-scale activity. “2019 was a record year for us,” Centerwall told the

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Jeff Bezos commits $10B to climate. How should he spend it?

The funding announcement “dwarfs other philanthropy in this realm,” and could go toward anything from an amplified Beyond Carbon campaign, to a mass electric vehicle rollout, stakeholders mused. AUTHOR: Catherine Morehouse@cmorehouse10 PUBLISHED Feb. 19, 2020 Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder, president and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, on Monday announced his commitment to providing $10 billion toward fighting climate change.  Specifics of the plan were sparse — in his Instagram post announcing the funding, he said the Bezos Earth Fund will provide funding for “scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” He’ll begin issuing grants this summer and said the $10 billion is “to start,” but doesn’t specify how much more he plans to spend or over what time period. Some speculate the billionaire’s move was timed to deflect attention from FRONTLINE’s release of a documentary that includes criticisms of his technology empire’s

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A Look Back at Solar Milestones of the 2010s

Friday, Jan 03 2020 By SEIA Comms Team The 2010s have come to a close, and what a decade it was for solar energy in the United States. Over the last ten years, our industry grew from niche technology struggling to hit its stride, to a dominant source of new energy that fuels our economy with 242,000 jobs and reliably powers millions of homes and businesses. As we enter the Solar+ Decade and take on even greater market share, let’s look back at some of the major solar milestones we hit in the 2010s. (LIST IS CHRONOLOGICAL) 1. Solar costs fall to historic lows; becoming competitive with other fuels Perhaps the most important solar development in the 2010s is how fast prices have fallen. Costs have fallen by 70% since 2010, making both rooftop and utility-scale solar generation competitive with other forms of electricity generation. In 2010, it cost $40,000 to install a residential solar system. Today,

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U.S. Solar Market and 15 States See Best Quarter Ever for Residential Solar

SEIA Thursday, Dec 12 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX – The U.S. residential solar market reached record highs in the third quarter of 2019 with 712 megawatts of solar installed, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The U.S. solar market added 2.6 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics in the third quarter, swelling total U.S. solar capacity to 71.3 gigawatts. The increase in residential installations helped the U.S. solar market grow 45% year-over-year and contributed to 15 states having their best quarter ever for residential solar. States with smaller solar markets such as Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico and Iowa all saw record residential growth due to continued price declines and improvements to the economic competitiveness of solar across the country. “This positive report makes clear that American families are demanding energy choice and solar, and that our industry is ready

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Carbon-capture gambit: San Juan carbon capture project gains momentum

BY KEVIN ROBINSON-AVILA / ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL STAFF WRITER MONDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, 2019 AT 12:02AM Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal Farmington and Enchant Energy Corp. are aggressively pursuing a plan to convert the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station into the world’s largest carbon-capture and sequestration facility, despite broad skepticism about the project’s feasibility and benefits. The city signed an agreement in August with Enchant Energy for it to take over ownership of the power plant and retrofit it after Farmington acquires the facility from Public Service Company of New Mexico and three other co-owners, who plan to abandon San Juan in 2022. Farmington owns a 5% stake in the plant and wants it to remain open to continue consuming electricity from the facility, save nearly 500 jobs at the plant and nearby San Juan Coal Mine, and allow local tax income from plant operations to keep flowing. Enchant Energy, a new

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U.S. Solar Market and 15 States See Best Quarter Ever for Residential Solar

Thursday, Dec 12 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX – The U.S. residential solar market reached record highs in the third quarter of 2019 with 712 megawatts of solar installed, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The U.S. solar market added 2.6 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics in the third quarter, swelling total U.S. solar capacity to 71.3 gigawatts. The increase in residential installations helped the U.S. solar market grow 45% year-over-year and contributed to 15 states having their best quarter ever for residential solar. States with smaller solar markets such as Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico and Iowa all saw record residential growth due to continued price declines and improvements to the economic competitiveness of solar across the country. “This positive report makes clear that American families are demanding energy choice and solar, and that our industry is ready to

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Udall, Heinrich Introduce Bill to Incentivize Renewable Energy, Localize Benefits

Date: October 24, 2019 Contact: Aaron Morales (202) 228-1578 WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 24, 2019) — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined Senators Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and James Risch (R-Idaho) to introduce bipartisan legislation to incentivize responsible renewable energy development on public lands and allow local communities to reap the economic benefits. The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) of 2019 would streamline the permitting process for renewable energy development on public lands and establish a revenue sharing mechanism to ensure local communities receive a percentage of the revenue created by these projects. “Public lands can and should be part of the solution to the climate crisis,” Udall said.“I’m proud to support this legislation, which will encourage the responsible development of renewable energy on public lands – supporting our economy and benefiting the environment in the

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PG&E ‘failed on so many levels’ in executing mass power shutoff, CPUC tells utility execs

Utility Dive: October 21, 2019 Dive Brief: California regulators demanded executives of Pacific Gas & Electric take responsibility for the state’s largest-ever Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) and commit to widespread improvements to the program during an emergency meeting on Friday. The multi-day blackout ran Oct. 9 to Oct. 13 and impacted up to 2 million people. PG&E faced criticism for poor communication and coordination, as well as for delays in requesting assistance for inspections and recovery. Utility officials said the communication and coordination issues are being addressed but cautioned shutoff events are likely to remain necessary for up to a decade as California utilities attempt to mitigate electric system-caused wildfires during high winds and dry conditions. Dive Insight: Utility and commission officials agreed on one thing at the Friday meeting: Climate change has put California at greater fire risk, and an overhaul of PG&E’s system will take years. “California will become more resilient,

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