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Solar company plans Roswell expansion

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A solar energy company is expanding its operations in Roswell and has received state funds to hire and train up to 10 more employees.

New Mexico Solar Group LLC was awarded $140,494 on Nov. 13 in Job Training Incentive Program funds to hire a site surveyor, a project manager, a general manager, up to five solar installers and a couple of electricians for its Roswell-based operations.

Joshua Phillips, chief operating officer of New Mexico Solar, said the company has about four employees in this region now and recently relocated into a warehouse in north Roswell to accommodate planned growth.

“There is a market out there for solar,” Phillips said. “We sell on average anywhere from 25 to 35” systems a month.

The new jobs are expected to be filled in early 2021, with projected salaries of $17.50 an hour to $53 an hour, according to state documents. The average wage is $24.68.

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According to its website, New Mexico Solar Group was started in 2015 and now has locations in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Las Cruces and Alamogordo. It started its Roswell and southeastern New Mexico operations about three years ago. It also services the El Paso area. Phillips said the company has 85 total employees in the state.

New Mexico Solar finances, permits, installs and maintains solar energy systems, primarily for residences, but also for businesses. Solar panels can be installed on roofs, carports or mounted in the ground.

Phillips said that customers who choose solar do so to be “electricity independent,” to have flat rather than varying rates for energy use, to foster the use of renewable energy sources and to support local business.

The JTIP program was created by the New Mexico Legislature in 1972 and is administered by the New Mexico Economic Development Department and a JTIP governing board. The funds will reimburse a company for 50% to 75% of wages while employees are receiving on-the-job training or customized training with an educational institution.

According to state documents, New Mexico Solar previously received five JTIP awards starting in October 2017, although it decided to return one of the five funding awards. With that funding, the company has hired 27 people and retained 18 of them.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.