New Mexico lawmakers send solar tax credit to governor's desk
- The New Mexico House this week voted 40-26 in favor of a bill to restart a solar tax credit, sending the bill to Gov. Susana Martinez (R) to consider.
- The Senate also voted in favor of the bill: 35-6. Despite strong support, the Associated Press reports Martinez is unlikely to sign a stand-alone tax measure.
- The New Mexico Solar Market Development Tax Credit ended in 2016 as the state backed $5 million annually in support of solar energy installations.
Media reports throw doubt on the measure's chances on the governor's desk, but the tax credit has been successful in the past.
According to a state website for the program, the credit benefited homeowners, businesses and agricultural entities that installed PV or solar heating systems. The program was launched in 2006 and ended in 2016, and in that time supported development of 40 MW of clean energy and 220 million BTU/d of clean heating energy.
"Over the life of the STC, a significant increase in economic activity for solar, electrical, mechanical and plumbing business has occurred," the program office said.
In April 2016, as the credit was expiring, New Mexico's Energy Conservation and Management Division said applications were "pouring in."
The state is moving ahead with clean energy initiatives regardless of the credit's outcome. Last year, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission proposed that utilities would have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4% annually through 2040. The state's largest utility also proposed a plan to completely phase out coal in its power mix by 2031.
- Associated Press New Mexico House OKs Income Tax Credit for Rooftop Solar
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