By Christopher Ortiz
New Mexico has benefited from its renewable energy production tax credit, which has supported more than 11,000 jobs and represents $1.6 billion in economic activity, according to a new report.
The report, released by Family Businesses for Affordable Energy this week, says the state has established has “a robust renewable energy generation sector with enormous potential for growth” and clean power is a wise investment for New Mexico. The credits are set to expire next year.
Over 13 years, $120 million in renewable energy production tax credits have been claimed. New Mexico has seen 13 commercial wind facilities with a capacity of 1.1 gigawatts and 46 solar photovoltaic facilities with a capacity of 452 megawatts come online. According to the report, power producers that have taken advantage of the renewable energy production tax credits have spent $1 billion in the state constructing, equipping, operating and maintaining 31 generation facilities. For every $1 in state tax expenditure, these projects generated $5 in labor income, the report claims. The report points out that the tax credits are not the only factor considered in where and when renewable energy facilities are built.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, proposed legislation would extend the renewable energy tax credits through 2023. The legislation would also raise existing caps on the amount of renewable energy production eligible for the credits.
O’Donnell Economics and Strategy prepared the report for Family Businesses for Affordable Energy, which says it supports policies that lower energy prices for small businesses. Data for the report came from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. A 2015 report from the same department found that for every 14 cents in tax expenditure, renewable energy production tax credit projects generated $1 in labor income.