| || |
| || || |
State of New Mexico
47-3-1. Short Title.
This act [47-3-1 to 47-3-5 NMSA 1978] may be cited as the "Solar
47-3-2. Declaration and Findings.
This legislature declares that the state of New Mexico recognizes
that economic benefits can be derived for the people of the
state from the use of solar energy. Operations, research, experimentation
and development in the field of solar energy use shall therefore
be encouraged. While recognizing the value of research and development
of solar energy use techniques and devices by governmental agencies,
the legislature finds and declares that the actual construction
and use of solar devices, whether at public or private expense,
is properly a commercial activity which the law should encourage
to be carried out, whenever practicable, by private enterprise.
As used in the Solar Rights Act [47-3-1 to 47-3-5 NMSA 1978]:
- "solar collector" means any device or combination of devices
or elements which rely upon sunshine as an energy source,
and which are capable of collecting not less than twenty-five
thousand Btu's on a clear winter solstice day. The term also
includes any substance or device which collects solar energy
for use in:
- the heating or cooling of a structure of building,
- the heating or pumping of water;
- industrial, commercial or agricultural processes; or
- the generation of electricity.
A solar collector may be used for purposes in addition to the
collection of solar energy. These uses include, but are not
limited to, serving as a structural member or part of a roof
of a building or structure and serving as a window or wall;
- "solar right" means a right to an unobstructed line-of-sight
path from a solar collector to the sun, which permits radiation
from the sun to impinge directly on the solar collector.
47-3-4. Declaration of solar rights.
- The legislature declares that the right to use the natural
resource of solar energy is a property right, the exercise
of which is to be encouraged and regulated by the laws of
this state. Such property right shall be known as a solar
- The following concepts shall be applicable to the regulation
of disputes over the use of solar energy where practicable:
- "beneficial use." Beneficial use shall be the basis,
the measure and the limit of the solar right, except as
otherwise provided by written contract. If the amount
of solar energy which a solar collector user can beneficially
use varies with the season of the year, then the extent
of the solar right shall vary likewise;
- "prior appropriation." In disputes involving solar rights,
priority in time shall have the better right except that
the state and its political subdivisions may legislate,
or ordain that a solar collector user has a solar right
even though a structure or building located on neighborhood
property blocks the sunshine from the proposed solar collector
site. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to
diminish in any way the right of eminent domain of the
state or any of its political subdivisions or any other
entity that currently has such a right; and
- "transferability." Solar rights shall be freely transferable
within the bounds of such regulation as the legislature
may impose. The transfer of a solar right shall be recorded
in accordance with Chapter 14, Article 9 NMSA 1978.
- Unless a singular overriding state concerns occur which
significantly affect the health and welfare of the citizens
of this state, permit systems for the use and application
of solar energy shall reside with county and municipal zoning
47-3-5. Prior rights unaffected.
Nothing in the Solar Rights Act [47-3-1 to 47-3-5 NMSA 1978]
shall be constructed to alter, amend, deny, impair or modify
any solar right, lease, easement or contract which has vested
prior to the effective date of the Solar Rights Act.
Back to Top