- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A bill designed to spur the installation of rooftop solar arrays on state government buildings in New Mexico has cleared its first hurdle in the state Legislature.

A Senate panel on conservation matters endorsed the bill Tuesday. The initiative from Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces would direct the state General Services Department to pursue contracts with solar providers that can save the state money on electricity costs over time with no up-front public investment.

Steinborn says the agency oversees more than 750 state buildings and that currently only two are equipped to generate solar electricity.

In written comments on the bill, the General Services Department says that developing renewable-energy contract guidelines will put a strain on its administrative staff and construction project managers.

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