New Mexico utility PNM is moving forward on plans to replace coal generation with new solar, storage and natural gas resources.
PNM, a subsidiary of PNM Resources Inc., filed a consolidated application with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission requesting the abandonment of the San Juan Generating Station, securitization of the unrecovered investment in the plant and approvals for replacement power resources.
The application proposes the abandonment of San Juan in June 2022 upon the expiration of the participation and coal supply agreements. The application also requests securitization treatment along with approvals for replacement power under a recommended scenario consistent with the New Mexico Energy Transition Act. If approved, this scenario results in average customer savings of $7.11 per month in 2023 compared to the continued operation of San Juan, the utility says.
PNM evaluated replacement power scenarios in the filing and considered the resulting costs to customers, reduction to carbon emissions and risks to reliability. The recommended scenario for replacement power results in the lowest cost to customers and achieves significant reductions to carbon emissions, meets reliability standards and brings significant investment to New Mexico, according to the utility.
This scenario includes the following resources:
- 280 MW of natural gas-fired peaking units at San Juan;
- 350 MW of solar capacity; and
- 130 MW of battery storage capacity.
“Each step we take toward 100 percent emissions-free must balance the cost, the environment and reliability,” says Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources’s chairman, president and CEO. “The San Juan replacement plan we put forth will not only save customers money but will have one of the largest solar facilities in the U.S. and one of the highest percentages of battery storage anywhere in the country.”