Solar Easements & Rights Laws (New Mexico)
Last modified on February 12, 2015.
Rules Regulations Policies Program
|Name||Solar Easements and Rights Laws|
|Incentive Type||Solar/Wind Access Policy|
|Applicable Sector||Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government|
|Eligible Technologies||Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Pool Heating, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Water Heat|
|Energy Category||Renewable Energy Incentive Programs|
|Date added to DSIRE||2000-01-01|
|Last DSIRE Review||2013-01-11|
New Mexico's Solar Rights and Solar Recordation Acts (both contained in NMSA § 47-3) allow property owners to create solar easements for the purpose of protecting and maintaining proper access to sunlight. The Solar Rights Act established the right to use solar energy as a property right. The solar right prevents neighboring property owners from constructing new buildings or planting new trees which would block their access to the sun.
The Solar Recordation Act explains the procedures for filing a solar right through the County Clerk's Office. The property owner seeking the solar right must give advanced notice to the adjacent property owners, who are entitled to contest the claim. Once awarded, the solar right is attached to the property and will remain in effect even if the property is sold. The solar right, however, can be bought and sold separately from the property. This allows a neighboring property owner to purchase the solar right and then cancel it. The Solar Rights Act and the Solar Recordation Act also include provisions allowing local governments to create their own ordinances or zoning rules pertaining to the protection of solar rights.
In May 2007, SB 1031 strengthened solar access rights in New Mexico by limiting the ability of a county or municipality to restrict the placement of solar collectors unless the location is within a historic district. SB 1031 also voided all covenants and restrictions (from July 1, 1978 forward) that effectively prohibit the installation of solar collectors.
|Contact Name||Edward Trujillo|
|Department||New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department|
|Division||Energy Conservation and Management Division|
|Address||1220 S. St. Francis Drive|
|Place||Santa Fe, New Mexico|
Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)
|Authority 1:||N.M. Stat. § 47-3-1 et seq.|
|Date Enacted||1977 (subsequently amended)|
|Authority 2:||N.M. Stat. § 3-18-32|
- Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.