Alternative Comment

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There’s a new blog on the block (and on the sidebar’s New Mexico Blogroll) that I’ve meant to talk about. But, with the election and all, things got a little busy.

Nonetheless, I present to you Alternative Comment, based in Las Cruces. The blog’s author is a self-described “renewable energy advocate.” Take a look at this post from yesterday:

The New Mexico PRC will be making a decision soon that will affect the amount of local clean solar energy generated by homeowners and businesses in the State. According to the New Mexico Coalition for Clean and Affordable Energy the decision will determine the ability of system owners to be paid fair value for the clean energy they generate. Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), the states largest electric utility, is encouraging homeowners in it’s northern New Mexico service area to install solar panels. PNM is paying their customers fair value for every kilowatt hour of clean energy they generate. In return, PNM earns Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) toward the Renewable Portfolio Standard of 10% renewable energy. If PNM doesn’t need the RECs to meet the standard then the system owner will be able to sell the Green Tag credits. The PNM solar program has been so successful that they are petitioning the PRC to expand it to hundreds more homeowners.

The post continues, including discussion on the ways in which PNM (which serves a large portion of the state) and El Paso Electric (which supplies juice to Las Cruces):

When PNM originally requested the Declaratory Statement, EPE filed a legal brief to stop the PRC from considering the mater. New Mexico Attorney General Madrid overruled EPE and the case proceeded. EPE has filed a legal brief with the PRC in which it offers an interpretation of New Mexico law and regulations that would undermine the state’s clean energy program. Should the Commissioners rule with El Paso Electric the decision would be a set back for clean energy.

Because the television market for Las Cruces also comes from El Paso, sometimes the rest of New Mexico doesn’t see what’s happening down there. But this type of case can affect us all, especially in a community like Silver City, where so many people rely on solar and where others are planning solar investments.

Stay tuned to Alternative Comment for more.

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