PNM asks New Mexico Supreme Court to set aside PRC deadline

March 2, 2019

Public Service Company of New Mexico, which for years has said it wants to close the aging, coal-fired San Juan Generating Station by 2022, is asking the state Supreme Court to set aside a Friday deadline imposed by state Public Regulation Commission for the utility to file a plan for closing the power plant.

In a news release Wednesday, PNM said several bills affecting state energy policies are pending before the state Legislature, including Senate Bill 489, known as the Energy Transition Act. The news release said the legislation “will have an impact on our state’s energy landscape. Some of these policies will directly impact how the San Juan Generating Station will be abandoned and what the replacement resources must be.”

“It is the responsibility of the New Mexico Legislature to set energy policy,” the statement said.

PNM has endorsed SB 489, which would dramatically increase reliance on renewable energy sources and help PNM in shutting down the San Juan facility by allowing the company to sell bonds to pay off debt on the plant.

The city of Farmington, a part owner of the power plant, recently announced it had found an investor, the New York-based Acme Equities, to keep the plant — a major source of jobs in northwestern New Mexico — operating for the foreseeable future.

The utility in January asked the PRC to wait several months before requiring the filing of a shutdown plan, but the commission voted unanimously to require the plan by March 1.