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New Mexico Solar Toolkit Launched By Senator Heinrich

In a bid to help more New Mexican residents, businesses, power providers, and municipalities go solar, US Senator Martin Heinrich has launched an online solar toolkit that offers resources for those considering solar power, along with solar success stories and information on potential funding sources.

“It is my hope that this solar toolkit provides a launching point for local governments, tribes, schools, power providers, rural businesses, policymakers and educational institutions to consider whether solar can meet their needs. The toolkit highlights success stories from around the state, and provides reflections from the New Mexicans who have gotten the job done. It also highlights commonly used resources.” – Senator Heinrich

The solar toolkit, which available online as well as a download, features sections focusing on local governments, rural businesses, tribes, power providers, and schools, as well as one highlighting the growth in New Mexico solar jobs. It also includes real-world solar success stories with some answers about the specific tools and resources used to establish each solar project, the benefits realized by the business or municipality, the challenges faced in the project, and some advice to others looking to go solar.

“There is no doubt that solar works for New Mexico. The installed price of solar is lower than it ever has been, and more and more communities throughout New Mexico are building solar into their portfolios. Cities are saving taxpayer dollars, Tribes are providing stipends to their members, and businesses in cities and rural communities alike are seeing lower utility bills.” – Heinrich

As a New Mexican, I often wonder why more people, businesses, and municipalities in the sunny Land of Enchantment aren’t going solar, and while the answers to that question are complex — as is so often the case in rural areas — some of it simply boils down to a lack of information and the perceived lack of funding and financing options. Other reasons may include a very real divide between the ‘old boy’ networks of ranchers and fossil fuel and mining operations, and the new guard full of those looking to secure a cleaner, greener future, as well as the challenges of rural areas that tend to be strapped for funds when it comes to infrastructure improvements.

On a personal level, when I have run the numbers for my own house, which is an excellent and regionally-appropriate adobe dwelling that doesn’t use much energy for heating, and hardly any for cooling, I have found that I simply don’t use enough electricity to justify the cost of a full solar array at the moment. Because of this, I chose to enroll in Arcadia’s wind power program to offset all of my electricity consumption, and while this type of program that relies on Renewable Energy Certificates is one step (at least) away from direct renewable energy generation, it does help to increase support and demand for renewables.

Learn more about the options for New Mexico solar on Senator Heinrich’s solar toolkit pages.