Today your voices mattered. Community Solar sponsors Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero and Senator Linda Lopez introduced amendments to SB84 that removed regulatory roadblocks over community solar projects, removed limitations on large anchor tenant subscribers, and fixed language requiring proof of zero cross-subsidization. The sponsor's amendments squeaked through the committee on a 5-4 vote and the bill itself survived a motion to table and passed along party lines. As a friend shared:
PNM is walking away with RECs and ability to build their own, but the amendment is a good start. Housing Authorities must be able to build their own, but we'lll need block grants to really give a benefit to low income ratepayers. The utilities are whining that 1% would affect other ratepayers, an outrageous scare tactic.
Let's keep working to make the bill better by removing the possibility of utility ownership of community solar projects, removing utility ownership of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and eliminating the per project 30% low income requirement. As one bill proponent described the situation at today's hearing, we are like sailors on one of those old wooden ships facing a fire on board. Nobody will survive unless every person on the ship becomes a firefighter. Our climate crisis requires all hands on deck! Renewable energy must be possible and affordable for all people, all organizations big and small, to accelerate the transition to carbon-free energy beyond current targets.
Community Solar has more hurdles to pass. It will go next to HSEIC (action recommendations below) and then to a floor vote in the House, reconciliation and another floor vote in the Senate and then to the Governor's desk. Let's keep speaking up and speaking out until we win!