solutions: Mr. Governor, what is the main rationale behind trying to establish a “Solar Valley”?
Richardson:Our goal is to leverage our assets and create opportunities that will enhance the lives of not only New Mexicans, but also the entire nation. I want to turn these assets into a vertically integrated solar cluster to create a sustainable economic engine.
solutions: How many solar jobs have already been established in New Mexico and how many will there ultimately be?
Richardson: The Renewable Energy Industry Association estimates that approximately 150 solar businesses exist in New Mexico. As we continue to establish ourselves as a leader in the solar industry, the American Solar Society estimates that New Mexico will create 236,800 industry-specific jobs by 2030.
solutions: Why should companies set up their facilities in New Mexico?
Richardson: The nation is beginning to realize that New Mexico is the prime spot to locate their solar entities. We provide strong business incentives, are creating a skilled workforce, and the “Land of Enchantment” provides a great quality of life. Companies like SCHOTT Solar have found New Mexico very easy to work with at all levels of government.
solutions: What role do you see SCHOTT Solar playing in New Mexico’s solar future?
Richardson: SCHOTT Solar will continue to play an essential role in our state’s solar future. We are excited to be a part of the company’s expansion here in the U.S. It benefits us both to see SCHOTT Solar’s products deployed substantially around the state.
solutions: Why did you choose SCHOTT Solar’s Albuquerque facility as the location for your signing of the Executive Order calling for the “Solar Valley”?
Richardson: SCHOTT Solar represents New Mexico’s solar future. We felt that having the “Green Jobs Cabinet Executive Order” signing ceremony on site was a great way to celebrate our partnership. SCHOTT encapsulates so much of what we are looking to accomplish in the spirit of the executive order: a strong workforce, dedicated leadership and a successful business model.