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The solar rush is on. New Mexico contains some of the best solar potential in the nation.

Solar Potential in NM

The whole state contains some of the best potential solar power lands in the nation.

New Mexico, with the second best potential for solar power in the US, sits at the heart of one of the most radiant areas of the planet. 

Scientific American, in a “Grand Plan,” asserted that New Mexico could generate 1,119,000MW of solar utilizing a piece of land 95 by 95 miles. It could replace our dirtiest, biggest coal-fired power plant (San Juan) with solar trough technology covering 3 by 5 miles. With state encouragement, manufacturers, investors, researchers and service companies have joined the “sun rush” for all three sizes of solar technology.

Perhaps the most cost-effective is rooftop solar power for homes and businesses. Rooftop power does not require new transmission lines nor long permitting processes.

"Energy parks" or "energy farms" near major demand-centers like cities produce from 1 to 50 MW. The largest scale solar farms produce perhaps 500 MW but will require new transmission lines and rights-of-way decisions.

Solar parabolic troughs, photo courtesy of Sandia National Labs

Local Innovation

A mirror alignment measurement device, invented by Rich Diver, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories, may soon make one of the most popular solar collector systems, parabolic troughs, more affordable and energy efficient.

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