SANTA FE, N.M., April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), the nation's rooftop solar industry group, is disappointed that Governor Martinez vetoed Senate Bill 391: Extend the Solar Market Development Tax Credit (SB 391) last week.
SB 391 was an extension of The New Mexico Solar Market Development Tax Credit, which benefits homeowners, businesses and agricultural entities that install solar. Given the veto of SB 391, this tax credit will expire in 2016.
New Mexico is on the cusp of massive job creation as the solar industry develops in the state. At the end of 2014, the state boasted 1,600 solar jobs. This landed New Mexico at 26th in the nation for solar jobs. Yet, New Mexico has tremendous potential to be a solar leader and a job creator because it is ranked second in the nation as a solar resource. The solar industry is a true American success story and last year alone one out of every 78 new jobs in the US was a solar job. New Mexico is just starting to see the benefit of welcoming the industry and securing employment opportunities for New Mexicans.
Governor Martinez vetoed SB 391 despite strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House: 37-5 and 39-24, respectively. State legislators recognized the importance of supporting jobs for New Mexico's economy and acknowledged the solar industry's strong track record in job creation and economic development by supporting SB 391. This support is reflected in a recent poll by Zogby Analytics, which demonstrated 87% of Americans think renewable energy is important to the country's future. When asked to choose amongst the most important energy sources to the nation's future, respondents put solar first.
By vetoing SB 391, taxes will effectively be raised on New Mexicans who go solar after the tax credit expires at the end of 2016. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model, in 2014 alone, the $3 million annual budget for the solar PV portion of the Solar Tax Credit provided approximately $37.9 million in net benefits to the state. With the passage of SB 391, these economic benefits would have continued until 2024.
Along with enormous job creation, solar benefits consumers, giving them a choice in their electricity needs and creating healthy market competition that benefits all New Mexicans. By vetoing SB 391, Governor Martinez jeopardizes consumer choice and solar job creation, and puts New Mexico out of sync with the national movement to adopt solar.
About The Alliance for Solar Choice
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) leads the rooftop solar advocacy across the country. Founded by the largest rooftop companies in the nation, TASC represents the vast majority of the market. Its members include: Demeter Power, Silevo, SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sunrun, Verengo, and Zep. http://allianceforsolarchoice.com.
SOURCE The Alliance for Solar Choice