Solar Power Installation
Contact Info

GETTING STARTED

You’ve decided to build a solar power source for your home. Be sure to check with New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to determine what solar market development tax credits are available and how you can take advantage of them. This page will let you know what to expect from the DPU as you work with us and the Los Alamos Community Development Department to accomplish your safe, approved, and interconnected solar installation.

Note that as of January 2017, the DPU charges
$260 for a Residential Net Meter, and 
$450 for a Commercial Net Meter.  

CDD Planning Application Fee Schedule
CDD charges for Building Permit Fees are based on the total valuation for the project.

Community Development Department (CDD)

State of New Mexico Construction Industries Division (CID)

NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Information (Tax Credits) 

National Renewable Energy Lab Estimator of Solar Production & Cost

1. INTERCONNECTION

Most applicants hire a designer or purchase a solar design with which to complete a Customer Owned Generation Application, providing a PV/thermal array diagram using the DPU sketch provided for guidance. Application/Sketch packet will need to include:

  • Inverter detail (state will permit it), include a brochure or factory detail describing make and model;
  • Identified placement of meter, showing proximity to gas lines (not within 3 feet);
  • Identified placement of physical disconnect lever; and
    Expression of intent for existing meter or new one. 
  • There may be a couple of iterations with DPU as topology and equipment are adjusted for compliance. And there may be a need for a meter between the solar PV equipment and the home to measure production.

2. LOCAL AND STATE PERMITS

Once DPU approves the planned PV array via the Customer Owned Generation Application, both the DPU Interconnection Agreement (for net metering) and the CDD Building Permit processes can begin simultaneously. Using the DPU-approved Cogeneration Agreement with its diagram, you can execute a Building Permit application with CDD who will watch for the following items: 
  • system weight for roof load;
  • lbs. per square foot;
  • nature of attachment mechanism in terms of wind load;
  • proper flashing on system to prevent roof leaks;
  • PV array location to be away from setback, utility easement or drainage easement, etc

The State of New Mexico's Construction Industries Division (CID) must also inspect your solar installation to permit it.  Contractors often handle this requirement on behalf of homeowners, but is is important to remember this state requirement, as DPU cannot install a new net meter without a completed CID inspection.  

3. NET METERING

Upon successful completion of the Cogeneration Agreement and Building Permit, you will be poised to finalize the DPU Interconnection Agreement to enable a credit for any excess energy production to be applied to the utility bill. If electricity generated exceeds electricity consumed by the ratepayer during a billing period, the net metering rate paid back to the customer will be “the average cost for capacity and energy from the resource pool for the previous year,” ** also called the wholesale rate. 

4. HELPFUL CONTACTS AND RESOURCES

DPU
Stephen Marez
stephen.marez@lacnm.us
505.662.8499

CDD - Building Permit Information
Permit.Techs@lacnm.us
505.662.8120

CID - State of New Mexico's Construction Industries Division
CID.Inspection@state.nm.us
505.222.9813 in the Albuquerque area or
877.243.0979 from any other location in New Mexico.