Sunny skies are the norm in southeastern New Mexico. But until recently, an unfair fee by the local utility limited local residents’ ability to embrace solar power. Southeastern New Mexico is one of the sunniest places in this country. In fact, it’s so sunny in Chris Dizon’s hometown of Eunice, New Mexico, that a football field’s worth of solar panels could generate enough electricity to power close to 750 homes. Inspired by that potential, Dizon figured out how to install his own rooftop solar system. When he was able to do that cost-effectively, he quickly found himself helping friends and family do the same. Soon after, he decided to launch his own business. Endless Energy installs rooftop solar systems in southwestern Texas, and, in theory, southeastern New Mexico. Business isn’t booming on the New Mexico side because of Rate 59, a surcharge by the local electric utility, Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS), that singled out rooftop solar customers. “My primary motivation for becoming a solar installer was to lower the economic barrier for solar and allow more people to benefit from the tremendous solar resource in New Mexico,” says Dizon. But due to Rate 59, “we haven’t promoted ourselves […]

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