New Mexico SB 489 - Energy Transition Act

New Mexico’s 2019 Senate Bill 489 enacts the Energy Transition Act, establishing ambitious statewide renewable energy standards and a pathway the state will use to transition its economy towards one powered by clean energy. The bill includes tens of millions of dollars of economic and workforce support for communities affected by the transition away from coal. By incorporating equity considerations into its framework, this bill not only ensures greater renewable energy production, but also eases the burden of energy transition on frontline and disadvantaged communities.

The ETA sets a statewide renewable energy standard of 40% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2040 for New Mexico investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives. It additionally sets zero-carbon resources standard for investor-owned utilities by 2045 and rural electric cooperatives by 2050.  

The bill was developed through extensive collaboration by energy advocates, unions, and community organizations, and includes measures designed to protect vulnerable communities from the transition away from coal-based energy. These measures include the Energy Transition Economic Development Assistance Fund and the Energy Transition Displaced Worker Assistance Fund, established by the ETA. Both funds will include a public planning process in the affected community to inform residents of the use of the money in the fund, which must include at least three public meetings in the community. An “affected community” is defined as a New Mexico county located within one hundred miles of a New Mexico facility producing electricity that closes, resulting in at least forty displaced workers.” Job training will additionally be provided to workers who lost their job as a “result of an abandoned qualifying generating facility and any associated mine that only services the abandoned qualifying generating facility.” The law also ensures the development of renewable replacement power in affected counties. 

 

 

Publication Date: March 22, 2019

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  • State of New Mexico

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