The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved an order on December 17 that will require public utilities in the state to use Renewable Energy for a percentage of their total electricity supply.Santa Fe, New Mexico – January 9, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] By January 1, 2006, public utilities must draw on Renewable Energy for five percent of the electricity they sell. That percentage must increase at least one percent per year until 2011, when Renewable Energy must supply at least 10 percent of the electricity sold by public utilities. The commission’s order also encourages some forms of Renewable Energy by allowing them to earn extra credit. New hydropower facilities less than 50 MW in capacity and any wind power facilities are credited with the actual kWh that they produce, but solar power systems earn three times the actual kWh they produce toward the standard. Electricity produced from biomass, landfill gas, geothermal energy, or fuel cells earn twice their actual kWh. For example, a utility could meet the 10 percent requirement by using solar power for 3.33 percent of its power needs, or using geothermal energy for five percent of its power. The rule exempts rural electric cooperatives in the state, although they must provide a green power option to their customers. Texas-New Mexico Power Company is also exempt until December 2006, when the utility’s existing power contract expires.