Replacement Power




In early 2015 the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) will determine whether or not PNM is allowed to double-down on their investment in coal and nuclear as well as request stranded assets from New Mexico ratepayers. This PRC decision will dictate New Mexico’s energy profile for the next several decades, either continuing the sunshine state’s heavy reliance on coal and other dangerous energy sources, or initiating the transition to renewables.

Thank you to all of you who joined us in presence and spirit on January 5th 9AM to say NO to dirty coal and expensive nuclear replacement power and   YES to New Mexico's solar and wind! 

pandora_banner.jpgA coalition of more than 35 indigenous, faith, environmental, social justice, youth, arts, and public interest groups are working with New Energy Economy to host a mass demonstration on the first day of the Public Regulation Commission Hearing. 

Oppose PNM’s Replacement Power Plan 

New Mexico has an unprecedented opportunity to significantly shift its energy portfolio from fossil fuel and other extractive energy sources to clean, affordable renewables. As result of years of legal activism and political organizing by New Energy Economy and our allies and pressure by the Environmental Protection Agency, PNM was forced to agree to retire Units 2 & 3 at the San Juan coal plant and install pollution controls on Units 1 & 4, in order to bring them into compliance with Clean Air Act Regional Haze Requirements. Unfortunately, PNM is proposing a plan to replace the energy capacity from the retired units by bringing more coal, nuclear, and natural gas into its mix, for a total cost to ratepayers of approximately 66 million dollars a year starting in 2018, (not including any expenses for forthcoming carbon or coal ash regulations, or fuel cost increases). 

PNM's Proposal


A More Affordable, Renewable Energy-Based Alternative Exists

We have developed an alternative replacement power plan that would take PNM’s energy profile to 30% renewables (wind and solar). This would not only reduce the grave environmental and health hazards involved in coal production, but due to the new Carbon Rule and increasing regulations on the disposal of coal ash, alongside decreasing costs of wind and solar per kilowatt hour, this alternative plan would also be the most cost-effective option for ratepayers and save New Mexicans hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Legal Battle

In January 2014 New Energy Economy intervened in this case in order to defend the public interest, rate-payers, and the environment. For the last year, we've worked around the clock to expose the facts of the case, challenge PNM's biases, and educate/organize the public in defense of rate-payers, the environment, and the public interest.

To read a compelling summary of this case, take a look at New Energy Economy’s legal brief opposing PNM’s replacement power plan and the stipulation.

New Energy Economy is not alone in our opposition to PNM's reckless proposal. We worked with hundreds of constituents who helped inform and work with elected officials in the City of Albuquerque, City of Santa Fe, and Santa Fe County whose governing bodies all passed resolutions stating their opposition to PNM’s proposed plan, in favor of an alternative plan that would take the company’s energy profile from a paltry 7% to 30% renewables. Though the list of Intervenors in the replacement power case is much longer, including the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, energy company Southwest Generation, New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers, as well as Santa Fe-based Interwest Energy Alliance, Western Resource Advocates,  Climate Change Leadership, and the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, many intervenors settled with PNM and PRC staff on a stipulation that matches PNM's original proposal almost entirely and does little for New Mexico's rate-payers or environment.

The City of Santa Fe has held fast in its position that New Mexico, like California and other states, should divest from coal and make the switch to renewables. New Energy Economy is leading this charge and has unearthed startling facts about PNM's manipulation of the data in their energy modelling runs and the risks to which they are exposing New Mexicans through a precarious partnership agreement and no clear coal fuel source past 2017. Part of our work has been to discover these facts and then fight to have the information made public.

Read NEE's Motion to Recuse Commissioners Patrick Lyons and Karen Montoya here

Learn about PNM's admission to the fact that they "accidentally" didn't include over one billion dollars worth of costs in their proposal due to "errors".

PNM's own experts admit that Strategist financial modeling runs they did with New Energy Economy's Alternative Renewable Energy-Based Replacement Power Plan and a Four-Unit Shutdown were cheaper than the proposal they are pushing.

The problem: PNM wants to lock in coal/nukes, not renewables, for New Mexico

PNM has invested heavily in coal and nuclear and now, as environmental regulations and competition from renewables are catching up to them, driving up the costs of these dirty energy sources, PNM is looking to offload their investments on the rate-payers so that their shareholders don't get stuck holding the bag. Meanwhile, their monopoly-status in the state rewards them for capital-heavy investments by guaranteeing them an 11% return on equity (profit). Coal and nuclear plants require huge capital expenditures (with the guaranteed rate of return) and regular operation and maintenance cost (which can all be passed through directly to rate-payers) so PNM's business model is reliant on their continued investment in these resource-heavy energy sources. 




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