The Governor signed two bills yesterday, both working together to assure long term renewable energy production and development in New Mexico:
Gov. Bill Richardson proclaimed Monday that by his signing of two bills, New Mexico has moved past California and reclaimed the title of the nation's renewable energy king.
The bills would create a new authority to finance and oversee the building of additional transmission lines (House Bill 418) and increase the renewable energy requirement for utilities operating in New Mexico (Senate Bill 418).
The two bills work together to increase both the generation and transmission of renewable energy, said Joanna Prukop, secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department...
This year's bill would increase those requirements to 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020. For rural co-ops, the requirements would be 5 percent by 2015 and 10 percent by 2020...
The Renewable Energy Transmission Authority would have the ability to issue bonds and exercise rights of eminent domain to build on New Mexico's existing transmission grid and to enter into agreements with other states.
Prukop said the first thing the Authority would do is look at small transmission projects to build existing energy transmission capacity within the state, and will then look to exporting energy to other states. She said the authority would also look at joining with multi-state transmissions projects already in the planning stages.
This sort of development is a huge boon to New Mexico and to regional renewable energy production. Exciting projects like this will assure New Mexico will stay the "King" of renewable energy. Having a transmission authority that will assure new renewable energy exchange or sell-off to other states will also mean investing in New Mexico's future.