NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is asking the federal government for $250 million in order to bring solar energy to low-income residents. The state is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the money through the “Solar for All” project.
The Solar for All project is a $7 billion federal funding opportunity that allows states and tribal governments to compete for funding. The idea is to bring solar power to low-income and disadvantaged communities that are in a good position to make use of solar.
“New Mexico has laid a strong foundation for a clean-energy future, as we advance toward a statewide goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045,” said Rebecca “Puck” Stair, the director of the Energy, Conservation and Management Division of the New Mexico’s Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD). “However, many of our state’s low-income residents, particularly in rural and tribal communities, have not had access to renewable energy resources. With Solar for All, we can help remedy that inequity.”
If New Mexico gets the requested funding, over 34,000 households could see the benefits of solar power, EMNRD says. The money could bring an additional capacity of 123 megawatts of solar power to the state’s grid and add 13.5 megawatt hours of stored energy, the Department says. That 13.5 megawatt hours of energy is roughly equivalent to the amount of energy used by more than 4,000 homes over the period of an hour.
New Mexico likely won’t know if it has been approved for the funding until March 2024.