Renewable Energy at PNM
PNM is working hard to bring more renewable energy to our customers across New Mexico, balancing for reliability, affordability and the environment.
On the plains of eastern New Mexico, the 204-megawatt New Mexico Wind Energy Center was built in 2003 to serve PNM customers.
This resource has helped us cost-effectively meet New Mexico renewable energy standards and source our voluntary customer renewable energy program PNM Sky Blue.
In 2006 customers were able to start installing solar systems and we pay them for the environmental attributes of the energy. As of June, 2013, 3,300 customers are participating in the customer program and it’s still growing.
In 2011 PNM installed 22 mega watts of solar energy at five facilities across New Mexico including Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Alamogordo, Deming, and Las Vegas. We also installed a 500-kilowatt solar battery storage facility on the south side of Albuquerque, the first project of its kind in the nation to use batteries and smart grid technology to address the challenges of integrating intermittent and variable solar energy onto the grid.
In 2013, PNM is adding an additional 21.5 megawatts of solar, with expansions at our existing Deming and Los Lunas sites and building two new solar centers, the PNM Manzano Solar Energy Center and the PNM Otero County Solar Energy Center.
PNM customers will soon get their first electricity generated from heat deep inside the earth. Heat will be used to create steam to turn a turbine to produce electricity. PNM will purchase the energy produced by a new 10-megawatt geothermal facility being developed 20 miles southwest of Lordsburg, N.M., in the Animas Valley by Lightning Dock Geothermal, a subsidiary of Cyrq Energy, Inc. The project is scheduled to come online by June 1, 2014. Construction will provide work for many people. The project will provide new tax revenue for the state and Hidalgo County.
Renewable energy equivalent to the use of 135,000 average homes and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 915,000 metric tons
On July 1, 2013, PNM announced a plan to increase the solar PV it owns by 30 percent in 2014 and to increase the wind on its system by 50 percent in 2015. Renewable Energy Proposal 2014 and 2015 Fact Sheet (.pdf)
Proposed renewable resource additions:
One barrier to further expansion of renewable energy is reliability. That’s because electricity is manufactured the instant it is used, and the sun doesn’t always shine for solar energy and the wind doesn’t always blow for wind energy.
It is not possible to store electricity on a big scale. That’s why PNM developed the first grid-tied solar-energy battery-backup system in the country at Mesa Del Sol to help take the next step of making renewable energy reliable. Energy companies from across the country and around the world are waiting to see how it works.