Listen to Mariel on today's KUNM episode of "New Mexico People Places and Ideas"
RSVP for April 17th: The status quo cannot stand: Latest initiatives to hasten the renewable energy revolution
Save the Date - May 6th: NEE argues before NM Supreme Court for competition and fairness in the procurement of new energy resources
Celebrate on April 26th! New Energy Economy selected as 2019 recipient by Local Granting Non-Profit, Paseo Pottery. Join us for the party.
We want to thank you again for the outpourings of warmth and kindness shared by so many - it has made the transition from an extraordinarily painful legislative session much quicker and smoother!
Your love (and some time off) has provided us with the necessary fortitude and clarity to move forward.
In preparation for the legislative debrief at El Museo on April 17, have a listen to Mariel's interview on today's episode of KUNM's New Mexico People Places and Ideas.
Join us for reflection and legislative debrief and the unveiling of our plans for how we will make a shift in strategy in the wake of new State energy laws. Also included will be information on upcoming regulatory and judicial actions.
Where: El Museo Cultural 555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe, NM 87501
When: 5:30PM - 7:00PM, Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Legislative Session Debrief
Unveiling our next bold initiative before the PRC to defend consumers, demand corporate accountability, and protect our environment
Upcoming Supreme Court Case on renewable energy bid-rigging practice by PNM
CLICK to Email your RSVP for April 17th convening and be among the first to hear about initiatives New Energy Economy is bringing forward this Spring and Summer.
Join Us for NM Supreme Court Hearing on renewable energy bid-rigging practice by PNM - Monday, May 6 at 1:00PM, Don Gaspar & Alameda
Listen in person to Supreme Court hearing on May 6th. We will be asking the Supreme Court to disallow PNM’s system of rigging the bids on renewable energy procurement which is unfair and anti-competitive, violates PRC precedent, results in higher energy costs for consumers, and quashes the renewable energy economy in NM.
New Energy Economy is one of the strongest advocates of renewable energy in the state but was forced to oppose PNM’s solar project because PNM rigged its bidding process so that it would choose itself to own the solar as its best choice. Our expert stated, and the PRC Hearing Examiner agreed, that the process was rigged, unfair, anti-competitive and exclusionary.
PNM sought to expand its monopoly and own all the solar so that it could charge ratepayers for:
The solar generated electricity; and
Earn profit of 9.575% “return on equity” on an annual basis on the solar equipment (asset);
And, in a novel new theory, earn profit of 9.575% “return on equity” annually on the land (a separate asset) that the solar was located on.
The combination of all PNM’s costs are 49% more than if an independent power producer built the same solar for us. Higher PNM costs are not in the public interest because PNM’s ownership solely benefits PNM’s senior management and Wall St. shareholders.
We want to stimulate a vibrant renewable energy market and create an equal opportunity for independent power producers to build and own renewables and reduce costs for consumers. We were concerned that if we let PNM’s self-dealing go unchallenged, it would set a precedent and cost ratepayers more than necessary.
If you recall, in October 2017 we prevailed against PNM before Hearing Examiner Carolyn Glick. She wrote in her recommended decision:
"...PNM has not shown that the Affordable Solar Project is the most cost effective renewable solar resource procurement among available alternatives, and PNM cannot show that the Affordable Solar Project is the most cost effective renewable solar resource procurement among available alternatives because the 2017 RFP process did not give [independent power] bidders a fair opportunity to participate and compete..."
Although the Hearing Examiner who heard all the evidence soundly rejected PNM’s attempt to corner the market, the Commission overturned her decision and sided with PNM.
At the time, it seemed strange that Commissioners Lovejoy and Jones would ignore Commission precedent requiring that only “resources that are the most cost effective among feasible alternatives” should be approved. We understood that the Commission was reluctant to uphold Hearing Examiners’ recommended decisions when many hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake for PNM, but found it odd that the Commission would overrule Hearing Examiner Glick when the PNM/Affordable Solar project was “only” $72M and the facts and law were so clear. (“This was not a difficult call,” Glick found.)
UNTIL… we later learned that:
In both 2014 and 2018 when Commissioners Lovejoy and Jones ran for election their campaign consultant was Mark Fleisher. Mark Fleisher was also simultaneously the lobbyist for Affordable Solar, the company that will install the solar for PNM and would receive $60M of the $72M that PNM would receive from ratepayers.
Also, when Commissioner Jones ran for re-election in 2018, just months after he overruled Glick’s decision, he received $13,000 from Affordable Solar, more than half of his $20,7000 campaign contributions. Similarly, Commissioner Lovejoy received $4500 of the $6000 campaign contributions from Affordable Solar during the same time frame.
Further, you’ll remember that PNM created a PAC in the 2018 election that supported Commissioners Lovejoy and Jones, their preferred regulators and opposed their challengers. Despite PNM’s attempt to buy their regulators the voters were disgusted by their corruption and elected pro-consumer candidates Becenti-Aguillar and Fischmann.
New Energy Economy will argue that PNM cannot rig the RFP process so that it results in PNM ownership, and to the exclusion of other independent power producers in a fair market. (In January, we won this issue before the new Commission when EPE modeled their flawed process to “choose” the EPE-owned solar project, built also by Affordable Solar, after PNM’s.)
The bottom line is that the end result must be the best deal for New Mexico ratepayers.
Pottery-powered charity selects New Energy Economy as 2019 recipient for profit-sharing award
Paseo Pottery, a ceramic studio + gallery, 1424 Paseo de Peralta, that has been on the Santa Fe scene for three decades recently adopted a new mission as a “pottery-powered charity” who donates 100% of the business’s net proceeds each year to local non-profits, as chosen by their customers.
New Energy Economy is thrilled and honored to be selected as the 2019 recipients alongside the other two fabulous organizations, Tewa Women United and CASA First.
In a letter we received from Paseo Pottery, Angela Smith Kirkman, Managing Director of Paseo Pottery said, “We are grateful for the work you have all done in our community, and we would be honored if your organization would be one of the non-profit beneficiaries to share in our 2019 earnings.”
To celebrate their first full year as a charity, Paseo Pottery is throwing a party:
Where: Paseo Pottery 1424 Paseo de Peralta, SF When: Friday April 26th from 5:00-8:00 PM.
Please come celebrate with us.
There will be food and beverages, and at 7PM, Paseo Pottery will announce the 2019 beneficiaries. During the festivities, folks will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite of the three winning organizations. Customer voting up to this point has resulted in a tie between the three organizations, so Paseo Pottery decided to share the profits between all three. They really want each organization to be winners since we are all doing amazing work. Rather than giving our profits to just the 1st place winner, voters during the April 26 celebration will decide how profits are divvied up:
50% profits to 1st place winner
30% to 2nd place winner
20% to 3rd place winner
See you on Friday, April 26th and enjoy suds (locally crafted beer) and mud (clay pottery)!