Solar Easements & Rights Laws (New Mexico)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place New Mexico
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
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2000-01-01
Last DSIRE Review 2013-01-11

References DSIRE[1]


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.

Incentive Contact

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
Zip/Postal Code 87505


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: N.M. Stat. § 47-3-1 et seq.
Date Effective 1978-01-01
Date Enacted 1977 (subsequently amended)
Expiration Date None
Authority 2: N.M. Stat. § 3-18-32
Date Enacted 2007-04-03

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"