KUNM

Hearings On PNM's Energy Future Extended

Jan 16, 2015

The Public Regulation Commission will continue hearing testimony next week about PNM's energy replacement plan that includes adding more coal generated power to the utility's energy portfolio.
Credit Rita Daniels

New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission heard testimony for the 10th day on Friday about how the state’s largest utility wants to move forward. Two of the coal-burning units at the San Juan Generating Station are going to be shut down. Now the PRC hearings will be extended.

PNM told regulators this week that their original cost estimates for replacing the power from the decommissioned units have increased by more than $1 billion.  

On top of that, the City of Farmington announced that they’re no longer willing to increase the amount of power they buy from the plant because the future of coal energy is uncertain.

Nellis Kennedy-Howard is with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign and said she’s relieved that the commission is going over PNM’s proposal with a fine-tooth comb.

“The Commission is asking some really hard questions of PNM right now to look at whether or not San Juan makes sense," Kennedy-Howard said. "They’re digging deeper and I think that’s a wise move at this time.”

The hearings could continue through next Friday.