SANTA FE—Today, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) announced an agreement with InClime Inc. to serve as the independent administrator for the state’s Community Solar Program. Besides being the program administrator of the 450-megawatt community solar program in Illinois, the Maryland-based company administers multiple renewable energy management programs as well as several grant, loan, and low-income programs that cover renewable energy and energy efficiency across the United States and Canada.
“We’re very excited to have a final, legally-binding published rule for Community Solar, and securing a third-party administrator was the last milestone to truly kicking off the community solar program,” said Commission Vice-Chair Joseph Maestas, who spearheaded the rulemaking effort for the Commission. “This will finally make affordable community solar energy available to New Mexicans, especially low- to moderate-income communities. This is a significant step toward making the energy transition a more just and equitable transition.”
Last year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law the Community Solar Act, which called on the PRC to draft and approve the rules of the state’s community solar program, including the criteria for hiring of a third-party administrator.
Still under development, the program allows for the establishment of community solar facilities to provide qualifying utility customers the option of accessing energy produced by the facility.
The PRC’s Community Solar Rule, which went into effect earlier this month, includes a statewide capacity of 200 megawatts of community solar power as well as selection policies for utility companies issuing opportunities for community solar development in New Mexico, requiring that at least 30% of each project serve low-income subscribers and service organizations. Consumer protections are also established for community solar subscribers.
In its role as Community Solar Program administrator, InClime will oversee the development of community solar projects by solar power developers. This includes:
- Conducting the request-for-proposal process for project solicitation, evaluating bids, and recommending bid finalists to the Commission
- Facilitating the participation of low-income customers
- Ensuring that solar power developers comply with all rules and procedures
- Managing utility contracting and relations with solar power developers
- Administering Commission dispute resolution processes and, if necessary, referring violations to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office
InClime helped develop strong consumer protection services for the Illinois community solar program, expanding its existing software system to enroll over 27,000 community solar subscribers. The company also resolved more than 300 consumer complaints, issuing 35 warning letters and referring 30 complaints to the state attorney general’s office.
After conferring with PRC staff and advisors, InClime will establish a schedule for issuing the project solicitation and evaluating bids, as directed in the final Community Solar Rule.
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) regulates the utilities, telecommunications, and motor carrier industries to ensure fair and reasonable rates, and to assure reasonable and adequate services to the public as provided by law.