Friday, July 31, 2009

Eighteen Legislators Join Me in Critical Renewable Energy Filing

Today I, along with eighteen other legislators from both chambers, filed an important legal brief with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in support of renewable energy in New Mexico. You can view the brief here:

PRC Brief
In this brief, we argue that the renewable energy financing mechanism called a third-party arrangement is legal under New Mexico law. This is important because there is an effort underway to ban such arrangements, which would devastate the growing renewable energy industry in New Mexico and would severely hamper the ability of companies like Sun Edison to do business in New Mexico.

Third-party arrangements help cities, churches and non-profits (entities that cannot take advantage of tax incentive that support renewable energy because these entities do not have tax liabilities) deploy renewable energy generation. The arrangement allows a company to install solar systems at a customer's location while maintaining ownership of the system. In the arrangement, the third-party owner installs, owns, operates and maintains the PV system, charges the customer for the system based on kilowatt hours (kWhs) produced and receives the benefits of owning the system, including state and federal tax credits, depreciation, tax incentives and private investor-owned utility (IOU) cash incentives. The third-party ownership PPA model is fast becoming "the financing method of choice" in many states because of the low or no initial investment cost to the customer. (See Frantzis, L., "Photovoltaics Business Models", National Renewable Energy Laboratory Subcontract Report 581-42304, February 2008.).

In the ongoing effort to support and extend the reach of solar, this case will me a major milestone. Please stay tuned.

The legislators who signed on to my brief are:

The Honorable Ben R. Lujan
Speaker of the House, District 46

The Honorable Mary Jane Garcia
Senate Majority Whip, District 36

The Honorable Sheryl Williams-Stapleton
House Majority Whip, District 19

The Honorable Carlos Cisneros
New Mexico Senator, District 6

The Honorable Nathan Cote
New Mexico Representative, District 53

The Honorable Dede Feldman
New Mexico Senator, District 13

The Honorable Steven Fischmann
New Mexico Senator, District 37

The Honorable Timothy Keller
New Mexico Senator, District 17

The Honorable Lynda Lovejoy
New Mexico Senator, District 22

The Honorable Antonio Lujan
New Mexico Representative, District 35

The Honorable Roger Madalena
New Mexico Representative, District 65

The Honorable Antonio Maestas
New Mexico Representative, District 16

The Honorable Cisco McSorley
New Mexico Senator, District 16

The Honorable Jerry Ortiz y Pino
New Mexico Senator, District 12

The Honorable Benjamin Rodefer
New Mexico Representative, District 23

The Honorable Sander Rue
New Mexico Senator, District 23

The Honorable Jeff Steinborn
New Mexico Representative, District 37

The Honorable Mimi Stewart
New Mexico Representative, District 21

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