New Mexico company plans to end coal-fired electric power
April 21, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Public Service Company of New Mexico has proposed to stop using coal-fired electricity within the next 14 years.
The company plans to replace coal entirely with solar, wind, natural gas and nuclear power, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2plWogY ) Friday.
"Market forces are driving a rapid evolution of energy resources, and the current data clearly supports the replacement of the coal in our portfolio with an energy mix that includes more renewables and natural gas as the best, most economical path to a strong energy future for New Mexico," Public Service Company President Pat Vincent-Collawn said.
The company has found through its 20-year resource plan that consumers will save money in the long run if it shuts down its coal generating station in San Juan by 2022 and relinquishes the utility's 13 percent share in the nearby Four Corners Generating Station by 2031.
"The plan would get PNM entirely out of coal," Planning and Resources Director Pat O'Connell said. "It would be replaced by hundreds of megawatts more of solar and natural gas, some nuclear and possibly wind resources."
The company will close two of four generating units at the San Juan plant next year to meet environmental regulations.
After the two units are shut down next year, the company will still rely on coal for the production of about 700 megawatts of power.
The company has already issued requests for proposals to build more solar capacity on its grid to meet state mandates that it derive at least 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020, O'Connell said.
Additional wind power will largely depend on new transmission lines to transport electricity from New Mexico's eastern plains.
The plan is in its first draft. A final version will be filed in July.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com