The Public Regulation Commission should give serious consideration to the people of New Mexico who are concerned about our future. We care deeply about the economy, the health of our people and the eventual emergence from dependency on fossil fuels. Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal for supply of electricity with coal and nuclear power does not solve any of these issues and will simply postpone the transition to renewable energy sources that is urgently needed.
Here are the facts as I understand them:
Economy: The PRC is obliged to consider cost in its decision. The cost-effective solution is to shut down all the coal operations at the San Juan Generating Station and to replace them with renewable sources of energy. Although PNM’s plan may be slightly cheaper in the first five years, rejecting that proposal and switching to a combination of wind, solar and gas will cost less long-term.
Rooftop solar costs are currently on a par with other means of producing electricity, and its costs are decreasing while the cost of coal and nuclear power is projected to rise.
The financial risks of owning a deteriorating coal plant are huge, and being responsible for the risks inherent in owning an old nuclear power plant — radiation leaks, meltdown and eventual decommissioning — are frightening.