PNM Customer Solar Energy Program
*Our Department will be relocating to 4201 Edith Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87107*
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If you're a PNM customer interested in installing solar power on your home or commercial building and generating some or all of your own electricity, then you'll be interested in learning more about the PNM Customer Solar Energy Program.
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About the Program
In November of 2016, PNM was approved to extend the Customer Solar REC Purchase Programs for three more years, starting January 1, 2017 and continuing through the end of 2019 (see Final Order for NMPRC Case No. 16-00148-UT at NMPRC.state.nm.us). The program extension is for new applicants who apply on or after January 1, 2017 and do not have an interconnected system at the time of application for a new system. The program consists of two size categories of new solar and solar thermal systems, small and large systems described below. Starting January 1, 2018, PNM has been approved to extend the Customer Solar REC Purchase Program, through December 31, 2018, to include large systems above 100 kWAC up to and including 1 MWAC of inverter capacity. Detailed information on all programs:
- Small Systems: systems up to and including 10 kWAC of inverter capacity. The annual program capacity limit for Small systems is 2 MWAC (6 MW AC total for the 3-year extension). Projects will have nine (9) months from passing technical screening to construction/ permitting in order to receive the REC credit. The application fee is $150.
- Large Systems: systems above 10 kWAC up to and including 100 kWAC of inverter capacity. The annual program capacity limit for Large systems is 1 MWAC (3 MWAC total for the 3-year extension). Projects will have twelve (12) months from passing technical screening to construction/permitting in order to receive the REC credit. The application fee is $450.
- Large Systems above 100 kWAC: systems above 100 kWAC up to and including 1 MWAC of inverter capacity. The annual program capacity limit for large systems is 2 MWAC. Projects will have twelve (12) months from passing the technical screening to construction/permitting in order to receive the REC credit. The application fee is $450 plus $1.00 for each kWAC above 100 kWAC.
All awarded REC purchase agreements will have a term of eight (8) years and a REC purchase price of $.0025/kWh for energy produced and consumed on-site. The annual available capacity for both the Small and Large categories is reset every year; unused capacity from the previous year will not carry over to the next year. If the annual allotment in either the Small or Large category becomes fully subscribed, new applicants will be placed on a waiting list. If REC capacity becomes available (due to a cancelled project or a project which doesn't make the construction deadline), the next applicant on the waiting list will be awarded the REC purchase contract.
If your projects involve a third party, please make sure the third-party information on page two (2) of the application is complete and correct, and make sure that this third party will be receiving the REC credits. This is very important; changes to this information after-the-fact are difficult and time-consuming.
For nearly a decade, PNM has supported customer-owned solar generation, which has helped drive solar industry growth and consumer choice in the Land of Enchantment. The PNM Customer Solar Energy Program helps our customers save money and support their commitment to renewable energy.
The PNM Customer Solar Energy Program is available to any PNM residential or business customer that installs a qualified solar energy system and has it interconnected to the PNM power grid. The Program:
- Applies to grid-tied solar PV systems and solar thermal electric technologies.
- Limits maximum system size to 1 MWAC.
- Does not offer incentives for solar water heaters and other solar-heated equipment.
We have received questions from customers who have been approached by local solar companies proposing free solar as part of a "partnership with PNM." The PNM Customer Solar Energy Program is not associated, aligned or a partner with any solar installer / contractor. We do not maintain a "preferred provider" list. PNM inspects these systems to verify that they meet applicable NM Public Regulation Commission requirements so they can be safely connected to the grid.
You will benefit in two ways when you install and interconnect a qualified solar energy system to the PNM power grid:
- Renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase: Because you are adding renewable-fueled power to the PNM system, we pay you for helping us meet our environmental goals.
The PRC has approved a Renewable Energy Credit for 2020. Customers will receive REC rates once signed contracts are received.
REC prices are based on the size of the installed system.
- Systems 10 kWAC or smaller - Check available REC capacity
- Systems above 10 kWAC up to and including 100 kWAC - Check available REC capacity
- Systems above 100 kWAC up to and including 1 MWAC - Check available REC capacity
Customers should consider the application fee and potential REC credits for both Small and Large systems in determining whether or not the Solar REC Purchase Program makes economic sense. For example, a customer generating 600 kWh in a given month would be eligible for a REC credit of $1.50. Customers can still apply for interconnection only, for a much lower application fee.
As a customer with renewable energy generation of 10 kilowatts or less, you have the option to interconnect and either sell, or not sell, PNM your renewable energy certificates (RECs). A REC is an instrument used to track and claim the production of renewable energy. Each REC represents one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of renewable energy. If you sell your RECs to PNM, you have sold the right to claim the environmental benefits of your renewable energy production.
Selling your RECs to PNM: This option requires you to pay an application fee of $150. PNM will purchase your RECS for $0.0025 (1/4 cent) per kWh of renewable energy that you produce. If you are a customer with solar energy production of 600 kWh per month, PNM will pay you $1.50 per month for the 8-year term of your contract. When you sell RECs to PNM, PNM is relieved of its obligation to otherwise provide the amount of renewable energy represented by the RECs you have sold. This means that your solar energy production may not result in any additional renewable energy on our system.
Not selling your RECs to PNM: This option has a lower application fee of $50, rather than $150. PNM, however, will not purchase your RECs. If you do not sell your RECs, no-one else may claim the environmental benefit of your renewable energy production. This also means that your renewable energy will be in addition to the amount of renewable energy that utilities must by law provide. In other words, opting to retain your RECs means that your solar production may cause more renewable energy on our system.
- Net metering: Since your system is producing energy, you only have to buy electricity from PNM when you have used more energy than your system produced in a given billing period.
How to apply
Submit and manage your Application for Interconnection online
- New, easier way to submit applications!
- Upload drawings and other documents.
- Easily track the progress of your project.
Mail us your completed Application for Interconnection
- Small systems (up to 10 kWAC) - Get applications
- Large systems (systems above 10 kWAC up to and including 1MWAC) - Get applications
- Does a Solar Energy System Make Sense for You?
- Help me determine how large the system needs to be to meet the electricity needs of my home or business
- How does a solar lease work?
- Get more information about Small Systems (up to 10 kWAC)
- Get more information about Large Systems (above 10 kWAC up to and including 100 kWAC or above 100 kWAC up to and including 1 MWAC)
Please call Customer Owned Solar at 505-241-2750 and leave a message or email us at SolarPV@pnmresources.com. We will get back to you as quickly as possible.