New Mexico Ranked 10th in the Country in Solar Installations Added in 2014
- Apr 02, 2015
New Mexico had the 10th most new solar capacity added in 2014 in the nation, doubling the amount of solar capacity added a year before, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review. Currently, there are almost 100 solar companies employing more than 1,600 people in the Land of Enchantment.
In 2014, New Mexico added 88 megawatts of solar electric capacity, reaching a total of 325 MW, enough to serve nearly 75,000 homes. “To put the state’s remarkable progress in some context, the 325 MW of solar installed today in New Mexico is more than our entire country had installed by 2007,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “What’s more, we expect 2015 to be another strong year for new PV installations in New Mexico, with more than 90 MW of new capacity projected to come online.”
The above-mentioned report shows that the biggest solar gains in New Mexico came in utility-scale installations, followed by commercial and residential structures. In financial terms, these represent a $172 million investment across the state, a 32 percent increase compared to the previous year.
The residential sector has seen increased gains last year. Prices dropped by 8 percent, or a total of 49 percent since 2010. The solar installations helped offset more than 417,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, the equivalent of removing 90,000 cars off the roads, while saving 470,000 gallons of gasoline.
“Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans nationwide – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into our economy,” Resch continued. “This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. and New Mexico economies, as well as for our environment.”
Photo courtesy of Solar Energy Industries Association Facebook Page.