New Mexico among solar energy leaders

The Solar Energy Industry Association says New Mexico ranked fourth nationally last year in photovoltaic solar system installations by residential and commercial customers and utilities. Those projects provided 116 megawatts of power. California, New Jersey and Arizona were ahead of New Mexico.

New Mexico ranked seventh in 2010. The state Public Regulation Commission attributes part of the growth to New Mexico’s requirements that utilities generate part of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar energy. The federal government also has provided grants and tax credits for solar energy projects. The PRC said New Mexico ranks first in the nation in amount of installed solar power generation per person.