New Mexico Regulators Deal A Blow To State's Renewable Energy Law

Nov 23, 2013 Full story: ThinkProgress

New Mexico energy regulators altered the state's renewable energy law this week, infuriating renewable energy advocates who say the move will stunt the state's growing solar industry.

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La Quinta, CA

#1 Nov 23, 2013
"Proponents of the rule change cited cost as a major factor and Commissioner Patrick Lyons, who introduced the amendment, blamed renewable energy, namely solar, for raising many New Mexicans’ energy bills. However, the cost of solar energy nationwide is declining dramatically and in New Mexico, the Public Service Company recently “added a chunk of solar to its new energy plan because it was cheaper than other options.”"

The "proponents" and Commissioner Patrick Lyons didn't take into account the "avoided" costs the power utility doesn't have to spend. Things like buying land, getting permits to build a project, going to court to defend the project. Getting rights of ways for power corridors and again court dates to defend the project. Coal fired plants seem to be a big part of the energy generation mix in NM. Again the utility doesn't have to buy as much coal, upgrade the plants to meet EPA air quality standards. But does the Commissioner or the utility calculate the avoided costs and share these with the ratepayers who don't have solar? Of course NOT.

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