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The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted 3-2 to set renewable energy diversification targets for electric utilities - a measure that follows a directive earlier this year from the state legislature that increased the state's renewable portfolio standard to 15% by 2015 and 20% by 2020.

According to the PRC's new rules, public utilities will be required to diversify their renewable energy portfolios so that they include at least 20% solar-generated power and 20% wind-generated power by 2011. At least 10% of the portfolio must come from biomass or geothermal sources, and 1.5% must be derived from distributed generation.

Utilities must now use the Western Renewable Energies Geographic Information Systems to track renewable energy certificates used to demonstrate compliance with the RPS.

Cooperatives will not be subject to the diversity targets in the new rule. In addition, the PRC says, utilities will be excused from the targets should costs of achieving them raise the cost of electricity by more than 2% or if diversification cannot be accomplished without impairing system reliability.

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