PNM Study: closing coal plant will save ratepayers $445 million

A new analysis by PNM shows that divesting from the Four Corners Power Plant will save electricity ratepayers $445,682,093, says Santa Fe-based New Energy Economy. For more than a decade, Santa Fe-based New Energy Economy has been pushing New Mexico’s largest electric utility to divest from coal and convert to a 100% renewable energy portfolio. NEE has always argued that doing so wasn’t just the environmentally responsible thing to do, it was cheaper for electricity users (ratepayers) like you and me, too. But New Energy Economy says PNM refused to do the analysis that proved it so New Energy Economy pressed the state’s Public Regulation Commission to order PNM to provide the data.  It turns out, NEE was right.

I Am Still In – Stand with 194 Countries and Resist President Trump

On June 1st, President Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision threatens our security, our public health and welfare, our economic prosperity, and our clean energy industry, which supports millions of U.S. jobs. It threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink. It threatens our ecosystems and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people on our planet. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement does not represent the will of the American people.

PNM looks to close coal-fired San Juan plant (if they get a rate increase from the PRC)

Santa Fe, NM –  PNM is beginning the process to plan for a permanent shutdown of the coal-fired San Juan Generation Station by 2022. The SJGS is responsible for generating nearly 60% of the state’s power, but it relies on coal power and a nearby coal mine PNM purchased last year to support it. PNM proposed two scenarios for future power production: one to keep the plant in operation after 2022, the other to close it and shift to a larger renewable portfolio.  But, PNM added a catch: the scenarios supporting closing the plant are tied to PNM’s latest rate increase request to the PRC which asks for electricity rates to increase by as much as 14% for New Mexico customers. “I want to stress that is only a preliminary finding regarding our San Juan Generating Station,” Vincent-Collawn told the Albuquerque Journal.

PNM scraps pipeline plan near Navajo Nation

New Mexico’s largest utility announced that it has shelved plans for a new $100 million pipeline and natural gas plant project in San Juan County near the Navajo Reservation. PNM’s gas plan met the fiercest resistance from the advocacy organization New Energy Economy, which accused the utility of proposing an unnecessary project to justify increasing customer rates and the company’s profits. “We are thrilled that PNM is dismissing their gas plant and gas pipeline case,” said Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy’s executive director, in a statement. “Consumer demand is actually going down, but despite this, PNM thought they could get away with even more bloat: $100 million for a superfluous gas plant and gas pipeline just to line the pockets of PNM’s senior management off the misery of the poor.” – Albuquerque Journal
That news comes as Native Americans enter a new month of protests against a North Dakota pipeline proposal that has gained national attention. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported last week that PNM had withdrawn its request to the state’s Public Regulation Commission because projections for new energy needs have been revised downward.

How PNM rewrote Santa Fe’s clean energy resolution to support dirty coal [Read the Internal Emails]

Update, Mon. Dec. 22, 8:00pm :  The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Daniel Chacon (@danieljchacon) reports that, “under public pressure,” Councilor Bushee will remove language calling for Santa Fe to renew an agreement with PNM:
Under public pressure, City Councilor Patti Bushee removed language calling for a franchise agreement with Public Service Company of New Mexico from a controversial resolution she is sponsoring.“It’s turned into a red herring, so I’m happy to remove it,” she said Monday… Bushee said City Attorney Kelley Brennan had advised her to include the franchise agreement language in the resolution, which Brennan denied. “I urged you not to include negotiation of the franchise in the draft,” Brennan wrote in an email to Bushee on Monday.

PNM to fine ratepayers with solar panels; Solar fines subsidize purchase of coal mine

New Mexico’s monopoly public power company  — PNM — has announced plans to fine residential solar power producers. It’s a move that would increase PNM’s profits ahead of another move to purchase one of the country’s largest coal mines, doubling down on PNM’s investment in dirty coal technology for decades to come. New Mexico’s monopoly public power company wants to buy a coal mine – and they just announced a new plan to fine residential solar producers to pay for it. Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) has reported more than $424 Million in income over the past four years and are expected to add another $20 million or more in this quarter alone. Apparently that windfall’s not enough, however, as PNM just announced an aggressive plan to raise rates and add new fines and fees to customers.