Goodbye Nuclear, Hello Solar!



We are thrilled to share this good news with you: PNM is replacing 114MW of Palo Verde nuclear in Arizona with all solar and storage! We fought for the law that requires PNM (and the other utilities) to prove that their resource investments are the most cost effective among resource alternatives; failure to do a comparison analysis is a "fundamental flaw." We have been pushing for this moment since 2015. Even good friends challenged our opposition to nuclear because they were afraid replacement power would result in gas, but NO, it didn't. It resulted in the cheapest solar and storage prices EVER!

For more than ten years we've been fighting for competitive, all resource Request for Proposals (RFPs) - fighting to get legislation passed, trying to do rulemakings in the PRC, fighting cases against PNM for unfair anti-competitive behavior, even taking our appeal of corrupt PNM bid-rigging at the PRC to the NM Supreme Court where we lost again - YET FAIR COMPETITIVE RFPs ARE NOW STANDARD PRACTICE!

PNM conducted a competitive all-resource Request for Proposals that resulted in a range of bid proposals to replace the Leased Interests. PNM’s economic modeling and resource adequacy and reliability modeling demonstrate that the selected resources will replace the Leased Interests and meet system reliability and customer load needs in 2023 at a lower cost than if the Leased Interests were retained as part of PNM’s generation portfolio. As a result, customers will benefit from the return and replacement of the Leased Interests with lower cost resources in sufficient amounts to meet 2023 requirements, when combined with PNM’s total generation portfolio. (Palo Verde Abandonment application filing - Paragraph 14)

Our dedication and hard work have paid off, and your support over all these years made that possible!

PNM's selected resource proposals for replacement power include:

Two Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for solar energy:

  • The Atrisco Solar PPA for 300 MW of solar generation $19.13 MWh

  • The Jicarilla Solar PPA for 150 MW of solar generation $14.89 MWh

Three Energy Service Agreements (ESAs) (ESA's give PNM some operational control – when the battery charging and discharging occurs and the state of charge):

  • The Atrisco ESA for 150 MW four-hour battery storage $6.68/kW-month

  • The Jicarilla Storage ESA for 40 MW four-hour battery storage $7.65/kW-month

  • The Sandia Peak ESA for 100 MW two-hour battery storage $5.99/kW-month

Sometimes "losing" is not actually losing, its just a part of the building! These prices represent the cheapest solar power and storage ever developed in the state, and will result in price stability for the life of the agreements.

PNM proposes to sell its shares in the plant to the Salt River Project. New Energy Economy will intervene in the case to oppose PNM's plan to stick ratepayers with the cost of undepreciated capital investments in the plant and decommissioning, or cleanup, costs that could be substantial when the plant is finally closed. Additionally, we will support the PPAs for solar and battery storage.

Going up against the largest corporate monopoly in New Mexico is always a struggle, but we know we are not alone because you have stood with us for all of these years. You have waded through our wonky emails and legal filings, made calls and emails to legislators and PRC members, showed up to give public comment and to protest, and donated your time and your money to make this victory possible. Today we celebrate with all of you! This is what corporate accountability looks like! We are one step closer to a clean energy future in New Mexico.

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