According to a report on the website of the Santa Fe New Mexican, the New Mexico Public Regulations Commission (NMPRC), which regulates the state's public utilities, voted to change the way renewable energy credits (RECs) are calculated, effectively cutting the value of solar RECs (SRECs) in half.
In a three-to-two vote, the board of commissioners created a multi-tiered system wherein 1 kWh from wind produces 1 REC; 1 kWh from solar produces 2 RECs; and 1 kWh from other renewable sources, such as biomass, produces 3 RECs. Prior to the ruling, all forms of renewable energy produced RECs on a one-for-one basis.
Some expect the decision to cut demand for utility-scale solar under the state's renewable energy standard by granting twice as much credit for their generated or purchased capacity, reducing incentives for future capacity. Others say the falling price of solar is likely to maintain demand, and that the NMPRC decision will serve as a needed boost for biomass energy projects, which will improve brush clearing and fire mitigation efforts for forests.
‘Solar demand is healthy,’ says one New Mexico developer of renewable energy infrastructure projects. ‘We are not worried about demand for solar energy.’