The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has voted to uphold an earlier ruling that renewable energy developers that place installations on customers' property and enter into agreements to sell the projects' energy should not be regulated as public utilities.
Electricity generation utility Public Service Co. of New Mexico had called for greater regulation of these renewable energy agreements, arguing that they could lead to rate increases for customers by ‘subsidizing’ purchasers of large amounts of renewable energy, the New Mexico Independent reports.
However, the PRC concluded that holding renewable energy developers to the same regulations that are in place for large, investor-owned utilities would create a barrier to renewable energy development.
Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., applauded the PRC's decision, noting that it ‘clears the way for New Mexicans to take advantage of third-party power purchase agreements with renewable energy developers.’
‘This decision by the PRC is the first step in providing the kind of economic certainty necessary to break the log-jam holding up renewable energy projects that would stimulate job growth and investment in New Mexico,’ said Richardson.