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State’s solar trumps Arizona’s

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — Although barely noticed by the media, renewable energy supporters feel very good about the legislative session just completed. One solar energy spokesman even announced, “We’re pleased about everything that happened.”

He had a point. The solar industry received favored treatment by lawmakers and the administration of Gov. Bill Richardson. Backers of some other renewable energy sources weren’t happy that solar power received so much of the attention and they received so little.

For instance, a company that wanted to use methane produced by dairy cattle on the east side of the state said it had trouble getting a welcoming ear from anyone in the administration, which was pushing solar so hard.

But according to representatives of the solar industry, it was the year New Mexico finally got on the renewable energy bandwagon. Interestingly, many other states think New Mexico has been on that bandwagon for quite awhile.

Very soon after becoming governor, Bill Richardson appointed an economic recruitment team that had renewable energy as a prime target.

Armed with financial incentives passed by the 2003 Legislature, Richardson’s team set out to lure solar companies from other states.


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