The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has given its unanimous approval for utility PNM to add more renewable energy to meet the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The commission also approved a plan to for PNM to update its voluntary customer program, PNM Sky Blue, to include solar energy along with wind energy.
Under the plan, PNM will be fully compliant with the state's renewable quantity requirement of 10% in 2013 and 2014, and the diversity requirement in 2014 when a geothermal plant comes online, and be under the state's cost cap.
PNM plans to build 20 MW of new solar power, building new centers in Otero and Valencia Counties and expanding the existing Deming and Los Lunas centers. The utility will also continue its REC purchase program for customers who install their own solar PV systems.
In addition, through PNM Sky Blue, customers can contribute to the production of renewable energy over and above the energy PNM procures to meet the RPS. Currently, PNM Sky Blue customers pay for blocks of wind energy at an additional cost of less than half a penny ($0.0042) per kWh, for up to 90% of their monthly consumption.
Starting next year, PNM Sky Blue purchases will pay for a mix of energy produced at a PNM solar energy center and the N.M. Wind Energy Center in House, N.M. The commission has approved an additional 1.5 MW to be built for PNM Sky Blue.