May 2, 2023

PRC moves forward with community solar

Next week, officials will announce the projects selected to offer community solar, and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission drew numbers on Monday that will help determine which project is awarded a position in the community solar program in the event of a tie.

This drawing was done in conjunction with the PRC’s contractor, InClime, which has been overseeing the application process.

The PRC received more than 400 applications for proposals to build and operate community solar facilities, totalling more than 1,700 megawatts of generation capacity.

The Community Solar Act, which passed in 2021, sets an initial statewide capacity cap at 200 megawatts. The initial period stretches to Nov. 1, 2024. The PRC allocated the 200 megawatts among the three investor-owned utilities with the Public Service Company of New Mexico receiving more than half of the capacity.

In addition to the drawing, InClime released the individual project scores for the 400-plus applications on Monday and the companies and developers have until Wednesday to dispute these scores. 

“Any ties remaining after InClime makes any adjustments needed to address score discrepancies will be resolved based on the results of this tie-breaker event,” a PRC press release states.

Three lists of selected projects—one for each investor-owned utility’s service area—will be released on May 9. 

The PRC is scheduled to have a special open meeting on May 9 and InClime will make a presentation to the PRC about the community solar program at that time.

After the PRC completed its rulemaking, the three investor-owned utilities appealed the rulemaking to the state Supreme Court. Despite this challenge, the PRC has moved forward with implementing the community solar program.