News, Updates, and Background on the ETA Challenge:
Makai Lewis, Co-Director for New Energy Economy's, Just Transition - Health Impact Assessment project near Shiprock, New Mexico, gazes toward the coal-fired Four Corners Generating Station with the San Juan Generating Station behind him.
aka: “the PNM Bailout Bill”
In 2015, PNM invested more than half a billion dollars in its coal plant, the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS). New Energy Economy’s position was that PNM should close the dirty climate-altering unreliable coal plant because:
it was not cost effective compared to solar and wind investments; and
ratepayers would save hundreds of millions of dollars to switch to renewables; and
that we’d create thousands of jobs in a new energy economy.
But PNM, along with cover from “environmental organizations,” got their way before a corrupt PRC to continue operating SJGS.
A year later, PNM agreed with New Energy Economy that San Juan is no longer “cost effective” and will close the plant by 2022. Yet, PNM is asking the legislature to make New Mexicans pay $300 MILLION plus they would have made from us if the plant remained open and still producing electricity until 2053.
PNM wants a BAILOUT!
Unless the following are included we will fight to defeat this bill:
the bill must allow for competition for replacement power after the coal-fired San Juan Generation Station closes in 2022;
the bill must ensure PRC maintains authority over cost-recovery and replacement power;
the bill must allow for renewable energy resources;
the bill must protect New Mexico ratepayers against overbuilding of power generation and NOT set a precedent for future bailouts;
the transition fund must be responsibly managed and allocated;
PNM must pay a fair share for economic recovery.
BILLS TO ASSESS
Infrastructure and Capital Improvement Projects
Solarizing our Community Buildings
By infusing capital outlay dollars into state, county, municipal, and sovereign Native American tribes's solar projects and into the local renewable energy markets, New Mexico legislators will create dignified family-supporting jobs, bolster long-term health for city and county budgets, and take tangible action to address climate change. By solarizing recreation centers, community / senior centers, transportation facilities, libraries, fire stations, and more, we are investing in the long term fiscal health of operating budgets. Solar projects are unique capital investments that pay us back by generating substantial savings that may be redirected toward programs serving the public good.
Solar Tax Credit
There is a federal tax credit that allows individuals and businesses to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their respective federal taxes. There used to be a 10% NM tax credit, but it expired. Programs such as New Mexico’s residential tax credits have helped solar energy grow in NM. Between 2009 and 2014, 27.4 megawatts (MW) of solar energy were reinstalled by the residential sector in NM.