THE RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO CASE:
The Hearing Examiner Recommended In Support of NEE's position
for a fair & competitive process
But now there's a Public Relations Ploy - Disguised as a Pro-Renewables Campaign
Underway to Undermine this decision & pressure the PRC to rule against the Recommended Decision - AND THEY DID
New Energy Economy Filed a Motion to Reconsider
There’s a lot at stake in whether the Public Regulation Commission upholds the recommended decision from Hearing Examiner Carolyn Glick, issued on Oct. 17th, 2017. New Mexico’s renewable energy future can either continue in the hands of the corporate well-to-do, or it can be structured to benefit everyday New Mexicans and a burgeoning renewable energy economy. After the Hearing Examiner rightfully found that the renewable energy package for which PNM sought approval was "unfair" because it preferred PNM owed solar, PNM is in public relations overdrive to convince the PRC to reverse the hearing examiner’s decision and clear the way for PNM to corner NM’s renewable energy market.
Key Findings from the Hearing Examiner:
- PNM’s process was unfair / uncompetitive. To correct redress this, PNM shall be required to have an open RFP process that ensures New Mexicans get the best and most fair deal possible.
- Affordable Solar, Inc., PNM’s preferred solar partner, was not shown to be the most cost effective solar resource. Unfair constraints were placed on RFP respondents: for example, only 31 days were allowed for RFP responses, and only projects ON PNM’s land were considered.
- According to New Energy Economy’s expert, Nicholas G. Muller, former head of the Independent Power Producers Association in Colorado, “PNM had six bids and in what is one of the prime areas for solar development in this country. And you have an industry that’s very vibrant. Just look at Colorado; 12,000 jobs. What do you have here and why is it being suppressed? It’s being suppressed because the utility wants to own all the renewable generation.”
- PNM has for years been obstructing the transition to renewable energy (they profit more from massive coal-fired/nuclear power plants). Now that the writing on the wall is impossible to ignore, PNM is attempting to position itself to reap as much profit as possible from the transition to renewables – finding ways to get their guaranteed return on equity for shareholders by constraining the process to eliminate their competitors, who would save ratepayers money. A reversal of the hearing examiner’s decision will set precedent and hand PNM “the keys to the kingdom,” allowing them to now hold a monopoly over NM’s renewable energy promise.