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    Shine On

    Cochiti Pueblo solarizes Hahn Center with the help of New Energy Economy

    Cochiti Pueblo environmental technician Gene Ka-hee (right) celebrates bringing solar to his town with the assist from New Energy Economy alongside buildings and maintenance personnel Anthony Trujillo. | Courtesy New Energy Economy

          By Alicia Inez Guzman

    Here in New Mexico, our sun is hard to miss, with mesas and mountains in every direction basking in the characteristic light we all know so well. But as far as an energy source, "we need a lot more outreach to talk about the benefits of solar power," Gene Ka-hee tells SFR. Ka-hee, environmental technician and general assistance program manager at Cochiti Pueblo, heard about New Energy Economy's Sol Not Coal Program about two years ago, and began taking the early steps toward solarizing one building in the Pueblo.

    New Energy Economy, a nonprofit B Corporation, uses a two-pronged strategy: chipping away at what they call the
    root cause of climate change (extractive energy) through legislation, plus community solarization projects like the one Cochiti Pueblo embarked upon. The organization raised the funds through grants, crowdfunding campaigns and private donors, while Ka-hee spent a significant amount of time researching which building was the best candidate based on age and an electrical study conducted with records from PNM. Ka-hee finally settled on the Hahn Center, the Pueblo's multipurpose community hub, bringing his findings to the Tribal Council accompanied by New Energy Economy Executive Director Mariel Nanasi.

    Nanasi, a civil rights and criminal defense attorney, is a hardliner who leads the organization's legal interventions (challenging PNM on a number of grounds, for instance) and defines New Energy Economy's role in Northern New Mexico as bringing solarization "to people of color communities who've been left out of the solar revolution." The money saved on utility bills, she continues, "can be repurposed for that community in a way that aligns with their values."

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    The Urgency of Now: A Path to Justice A Pledge Toward 100% Renewable Energy for New Mexico

    OUR MOVEMENT IS PUSHING FOR 100% RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY BY 2035 FOLKS ARE ADDING THEIR VOICES TO AND HEADING THE CALL 

     

    New Energy Economy published a 25-page technical report illustrating the pathway to 100% renewable electricity in NM by 2035. The plan would set our state on track to lead the nation with a renewable energy economy that is more dynamic, equitable, sustainable, and resilient than what has existed in NM for decades. 

    Rather than energy derived from coal, nuclear and natural gas to serve the 500,000 customers in PNM's service territory, NEE’s plan would transition the state to 700 megawatts of solar power and 1750 megawatts of wind power by 2035, leveraging the state’s 2nd in the nation ranking for solar potential, and 12th in the nation for wind potential.

    READ THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY HERE 

    READ THE FULL REPORT HERE

    Join thousands of New Mexicans calling for a just transition to 100% renewables.

    Please sign below and spread the word! If you'd like to upload your photo with the 100% renewables logo - download it here and upload your photo with your signature. 

    Together we will turn the tide for New Mexico's economy, environment, and communities!

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    40 signatures

    I am a founding member of the 100% Renewable Energy for New Mexico campaign and pledge my political support only to candidates who commit to transitioning New Mexico’s electric sector to 100% renewables by 2035.

    As a central value of this shift, I call on all candidates for elected office to fight for a “just transition” by protecting extractive industry workers with healthcare and job retraining, requiring comprehensive clean-up of the toxic contaminants left in our soil and water, ensuring that consumers don’t pay for utility monopolies’ poor financial planning, utilizing existing transmission capability for renewable energy installation, and ensuring 100% renewable replacement power.

    I look forward to supporting your candidacy with my vote, advocacy, and financial resources once you have publicly committed to 100% Renewables and a Just Transition for New Mexico.

    Thank you in advance for embracing our state’s heritage and natural endowment, for embracing a forward-looking vision for our economy, and ensuring a sustainable future for our children.

    Will you sign?

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