Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in New Mexico
Although a large amount of New Mexico’s energy needs is met from coal, oil and gas, it also has one of the best performances for solar in the US. With a number of incentives in place and a renewable portfolio standard of 20% by 2020, there’s much to be applauded as the state begins to wean itself off fossil fuels for a much greener future. It’s not just solar that New Mexico has good resources for developing, wind and geothermal look promising too.
With around 100 solar companies employing nearly two thousand staff, the industry in New Mexico is fairing reasonably well as you might expect for a state with such a large amount of sunshine. They currently have 365 MW of capacity installed and have undertaken large projects such as the Cimarron Solar Facility at 30 MW and Macho Springs at 50 MW capacity.
Wind power in the state has increased gradually since the turn of the century and recent projects such as the 250 MW Roosevelt Wind Farm show that legislators are serious about developing this green energy source. With large tracts of open space that could easily handle single or multiple wind turbines, providing valuable additional revenue for the agricultural industry, expect to see the curve moving up over the next decade or so.
As you would expect for a hot state, hydroelectric power generation is not high on the agenda but New Mexico does have capacity for geothermal energy production with projects such as the Dale Burgett Geothermal Plant prime examples.
Solar PV Incentives in New Mexico
As well as the Federal Tax Rebate for solar PV installations there are a number of other incentives for New Mexico’s residents. First of all, there is the Alternative Energy Product Manufacturers Tax Credit which is available for a wide range of renewable technologies including solar, biomass and wind. For residential and agricultural installations there is the Solar Market Development Tax Credit up to $9,000 and the Solar Energy Gross Receipts Tax Deduction. Across the board, there is plenty to help out both domestic and commercial markets, most of which can also apply to solar thermal. With net metering widely available there is the opportunity to take advantage of schemes such as the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards Program.
Solar PV Case Study in New Mexico
You can lease or buy outright in New Mexico if you want to have solar panels installed. A typical 5 kW array would cost in the region of $20,000 which is average for the USA. You get the Federal Tax Rebate of 30% and an additional state payback of 10% on the total cost of the system. For a 5 kW installation this should save you $8,000 and that means you should start seeing a return on investment within 14 years, giving you a $15,000 profit over 25 years.
Solar Thermal Incentives in New Mexico
Solar thermal gets a number of the same incentives that solar PV does and with the good climate in New Mexico is a profitable way to get hot water. Solar heating is becoming increasingly popular across many states as a cost effective way of using natural resources to reduce energy bills.
Small Hydro Incentives in New Mexico
Net Metering is available for small hydroelectric installations though the issue in New Mexico is more about whether permission is granted for projects opposed to what incentives are available. There is capacity to develop small hydro in the future but it will require careful management.
Geothermal Incentives in New Mexico
Geothermal technology is becoming increasingly used across many states in the US and New Mexico is no exception. The Dale Burgett Geothermal Plan currently produces 4 MW but there is the possibility of adding more plants that can provide energy at a local level across the state. For home owners, there are incentives such as the Alternative Energy Product Manufacturers Tax Credit and utility based rebates and grant programs to help people switch to ground source heat pumps. There is also the Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit for both personal and corporate installations.
Biomass Incentives in New Mexico
As with many other states, New Mexico is looking at all the possibilities that come from biomass and have a number of renewable technology incentives in place including the Agricultural Biomass Income Tax Credit for energy that is produced from dairy and feedlot for local use. Meanwhile organizations such as the US Air Force have been looking at installing biomass power production facilities on their bases.
Wind Power Incentives in New Mexico
Besides solar, of all the renewable technologies, wind power has great possibilities within the state of New Mexico. Installations benefit from the 30% Federal Tax Rebate and despite the high start-up costs there is generally a good return on investment if placed in the right location. The Gross Receipts Tax Exemption for Sales of Wind and Solar Systems to Government Entities is available and the large amount of open land suggests that this is an area that is going to continue to develop in the next decade or so.
New Mexico is pushing forward with a creditable renewables agenda, particularly pushing solar PV and thermal as well as geothermal heat pumps. While there is a way to go before they are reach their RPS of 20% by the end of the decade, things are certainly looking promising.
You can find out more about renewable technology incentives for New Mexico on the DSIRE web site.