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Third group drops out of PNM agreement

Posted: Friday, January 23, 2015 9:44 am | Updated: 9:28 pm, Fri Jan 23, 2015.

The New Mexican

A third group is seeking to pull out of an agreement with Public Service Company of New Mexico over the utility’s plan for replacing some of the coal power at its largest electricity generating facility.

Western Resource Advocates filed a request Thursday with state regulators to leave a stipulation it had signed with PNM and other parties in October. The stipulated agreement was designed to find some common ground and smooth consensus on the company’s plan to retire two of the four coal-fired units at the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington. The company needs approval from state regulators to abandon the two units and replace the power with a combination of nuclear, natural gas, solar and some additional coal capacity on a remaining San Juan unit.

Western Resource Advocates cited concerns that PNM’s parent company, PNM Resources, might be negotiating to buy 65 more megawatts of capacity at one of the San Juan units, now that Farmington has announced its intention not to buy the power. PNM is one of several partners that own interests in the San Juan plant, but as some of the partners leave, the company must find ways to cover the costs of the facility.

The Renewable Energy Industry Association and the New Mexico Independent Power Producers withdrew from the stipulation earlier this week, citing concerns over new estimates of coal costs and a new fee PNM wants to charge people who install grid-tied solar panels at their homes.


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