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2 groups withdraw from deal to shutter PNM coal generation

By Robert Walton | January 22, 2015


Dive Brief:

  • Two out of six groups have withdrawn from an agreement supporting Public Service Co. of New Mexico's (PNM) plan to shutter half of the San Juan coal-fired in the northwestern part of the state.

  • The Albuquerque Journal reports the groups had concerns over the costs of the deal, and a related power deal had also recently fallen through.

  • PNM recently told state regulators it had miscalculated costs and that the arrangement could cost ratepayers more than $350 million more over two decades.

Dive Insight:

The Albuquerque Journal reports that The Renewable Energy Industries Association (REIA) and New Mexico Independent Power Producers will not support a plan that allowed PNM to shutter coal-fired generation at the San Juan plant. An unexpected change in costs and a related power deal being canceled — opening up the possibility that more generation could be retired — were behind the reversals in opinion.

REIA attorney Adam Baker said the group is concerned "that there is just too much uncertainty for REIA to continue its support for the stipulation.”

In late 2013 PNM announced plans to retire two units at the coal-fired San Juan power plant in northwestern New Mexico, and replace the units by adding 177 MW of natural gas-fired generation, 40 MW of photovoltaic capacity, and 134 MW of utility-owned unregulated capacity at the Palo Verde nuclear plant.

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