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This white paper analyzes two elements of New Mexico’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in advance of the state legislature’s consideration of an RPS expansion in the 2019 legislative session. First, the paper surveys key policy design elements of the current RPS, compares those elements to other state RPSs, and identifies “policy considerations” that may inform legislative or regulatory action. Among the findings from this part of the analysis are that: 1) other states have set much higher RPS targets; 2) that New Mexico’s RPS has uniquely restrictive cost-containment measures that limit cost impacts but also prohibit the full RPS goal from being met, especially the large customer cap, and 3) that New Mexico’s RPS has very ambitious resource diversity targets that are also rarely met by utilities due to the RPS’s reasonable cost threshold. The second issue the paper analyzes is whether the current RPS statute establishes an ongoing compliance obligation for utilities beyond its final target in 2020. The paper finds that when the target-setting provisions are read in light of the entire statute, the obligation likely does continue beyond 2020 for both investor-owned utilities and rural electricity cooperatives. The paper was developed for New Mexico First and the Utton Transboundary Resources Center as a follow-up analysis to issues identified in the New Mexico Energy Roadmap process. The Energy Roadmap was convened by the New Mexico Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD).

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[White Paper]

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This analysis is supported by New Mexico First and is a collaboration with the Utton Transboundary Resources Center based at the University of New Mexico School of Law.



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