PNM Planning a Cleaner Energy Future In New Mexico
PNM Resources’ New Mexico utility, Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) is proposing a future energy resource portfolio that would eliminate its use of coal-fired generation by the end of 2031. The findings are included in PNM’s draft 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
“Our number-one responsibility is to act in the best interests of our customers, and this plan outlines the most effective way to deliver reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable energy going forward,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources’ chairman, president and CEO. “Market forces are driving a rapid evolution of energy resources, and the current data clearly shows that replacing the coal in our current portfolio with a cleaner energy mix that includes more renewables and natural gas is the best, most economical path to a strong energy future for New Mexico.”
Every three years, PNM is required to produce and file an IRP with the NMPRC. PNM evaluates numerous existing and anticipated options for energy resources over the next 20 years to determine the most cost-effective mix of resources that will support reliability and environmental responsibility. In addition, the IRP contains a proposed, specific four-year action plan, including actions that will require future NMPRC approvals.
Highlights of the draft 2017 IRP:
- PNM would retire San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) Units 1 and 4 by the end of 2022, after the existing coal-supply agreement expires (Units 2 and 3 will be retired at the end of 2017).
- PNM would exit its 13 percent participation in the Four Corners Power Plant when the existing coal-supply agreement expires in 2031.
- Replacement power would include renewables, natural gas, and potentially energy storage.
- PNM would retain its capacity in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS) that is currently being leased. PVNGS is a 24/7, carbon-free resource that not only minimizes fresh water usage but also diversifies the generation resource portfolio, limiting customers’ cost exposure to potentially higher natural gas prices.
“While this plan offers significant environmental benefits and is the most cost-effective for customers, we know that it will have an impact on the economy of the Four Corners area and the families and businesses that depend on the coal industry for income, especially the Navajo Nation,” added Vincent-Collawn. “PNM will work with the communities that will be most affected and other stakeholders to mitigate the effects of these changes.”
PNM representatives will be traveling to communities throughout the utility’s service territory to provide an opportunity for anyone to comment on the future of energy in New Mexico. Comments may also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.