The southwestern United States is known for getting a lot of sunshine. New Mexico is one of the best states for absorbing the sun's rays. Lawmakers are working hard to make the most of the sun and its natural resources.
Statewide initiatives, rebates, and tax credits drastically reduce the installation costs of any solar energy system, and there are many programs available on a state level.
In 2004, Governor Bill Richardson signed an executive order that stated New Mexico as, "The Clean Energy State." Since that time, New Mexico has worked hard to make this a reality. The Clean Energy Grant Program was started in 2005, and provides funding for new renewable energy systems.
New Mexico allows facilities up to 80-megawatts in net-metering rules, and few states allow for such large systems. This means that New Mexico is slowly becoming responsible for the feasible investment in large-scale photovoltaic cell systems and facilities. Investor owned utilities pay customers for excess power that is generated. In other words, if you generate more than your bill costs, you will receive payment.
In 2006, a revolutionary program called the PSN Customer Solar PV Program pays systems that are up to 10 kWH in size $0.13 per excess kwH power products by your PV panels. Also in 2006, a 30% tax credit was granted to residents and businesses through the Solar Market Development Income Tax Credit.
New Mexico has passed an updated renewable portfolio standard that requires 20% of the state's power be met by 2020, and 20% of that must come from solar energy. The Senate has also supported businesses utilizing solar energy. In fact, a 6% tax credit worth up to $60 million dollars can be granted to companies building solar thermal plants for electricity. Additionally, the Solar Rights Act ensures homeowners associations and local jurisdictions maintain a homeowner's right to install solar panels.