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PRC accepts PNM Integrated Resource Plan

December 20, 2018

Correction appended

The state Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday unanimously accepted a Public Service Company of New Mexico three-year plan that calls for shuttering a coal-fired power plant and getting out of another plant in the northwestern part of the state and more reliance on renewable energy, along with natural gas and nuclear energy.

Every three years, PNM files an Integrated Resource Plan as a general road map of how the company plans to provide cost-effective, reliable energy.

Patrick O’Connell, the utility’s director of planning and resources, said after the meeting that commission acceptance of the plan is just a first step. Next year, he said, the utility will submit specifics on the closing of the San Juan Generating Station — the first power plant it wants to shutter — by 2022. PNM plans to leave the nearby Four Corners Power Plant, in which it currently has a small stake, by 2031.

“The real work is to come,” O’Connell said.

It took the commission more than a year to accept the PNM plan. Civic leaders in San Juan County and the city of Farmington wanted to see more specific plans for easing the economic pain expected when the power plants and adjacent coal mines are closed.

Some environmentalists also objected. Santa Fe-based New Energy Economy had argued that the plan should include more solar and wind energy than what PNM proposes.

Correction: This story has been amended to reflect the following correction. A previous version of this story incorrectly said that PNM would be shuttering both the San Juan and Four Corners power plants. Actual PNM just owns a small percentage of the Four Corners facility but plans to leave it by 2031.

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