via All Pueblo Council of Governors
The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG), representing nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico and one in Texas, passed a resolution supporting community solar legislation that benefits Pueblo Nations in the 2021 New Mexico state legislative session.
“The Pueblos’ federal and state-recognized sovereignty positions us to serve as leaders in the renewable energy transition,” said Secretary David M. Toledo. “Advancing community solar in New Mexico will make solar uniformly accessible to all Pueblo Nations, enabling greater energy sovereignty and clean renewable energy.”
In the 2020 Legislative Session, Senate Memorial 63 created a working group of stakeholders to develop recommendations for the implementation of community solar with feedback from Indian Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos.
All Pueblo Council of Governors’ resolution requires the forthcoming legislation have the following attributes or principles to maintain their support:
- Recognizes Tribal Nations’ sovereign status which holds that Tribal Nations are not subject to state power on Indian lands, and state legislative, regulatory, taxation and judicial authorities, and others, do not extend to Tribal Nations or tribal members on tribal land.
- Includes rural electric distribution cooperatives to provide interconnection and retail electric service to community solar development on the lands of Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos.
- Recognizes the unique governmental, communal, and land ownership status of tribal nations and structures the program so that tribes can participate in renewable energy opportunities in accordance with Resolution No. APCG 2018-32 passed by the All Pueblo Council of Governors.
“Solar energy reduces our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, preserving clean air, sacred land, and water, all critical elements of cultural and traditional practices of Pueblo Nations,” said Chairman Wilfred Herrera Jr., All Pueblo Council of Governors. “Community solar will offer Pueblo Nations energy sovereignty, reduced energy burdens for Pueblo families and increase economic development and job opportunities.”
Twenty states and Washington D.C. currently have community solar programs enabled through state or local legislation. Community solar offers access to solar for renters, families with homes in traditional community areas where solar panels may not be visually or structurally appropriate, households who cannot finance on-site residential systems, those who do not meet roofing requirements, and multi-tenant homes and offices through subscription services that make solar savings available to all participants, similar to rooftop solar customers.
The All Pueblo Council of Governors Mission is to advocate, foster, protect and encourage the social, cultural, and traditional well-being of our Pueblo Nations. Through our inherent and sovereign rights, we will promote language, health, economic and educational advancement of all Pueblo people. For more information, please visit: https://www.apcg.org/