Renewable Energy at PNM
PNM is working hard to bring more renewable energy to our customers across New Mexico, balancing the needs for reliability, the environment and cost.
On the plains of eastern New Mexico, PNM launched the 204-megawatt New Mexico Wind Energy Center, one of the largest wind farms in the world, in 2003.
Thanks to our customers, the voluntary customer renewable energy program PNM Sky Blue has been one of the most successful in the country.
In 2006 customers were able to start installing solar systems and we pay them for the environmental attributes of the energy. Today 2,600 customers are participating in the customer program with no sign of slowing down.
In 2010 and 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 ½ megawatt solar battery storage facility on the south side of Albuquerque, the first of its kind in the nation.
Enough renewable energy to power about 82,400 average homes per year
With all of this renewable energy activity, PNM has enough installed renewable energy online to power about 80,500 average homes per year. Customers own additional renewable energy that powers about 1,900 average homes, for a total of 82,400 average homes per year.
On April 30, 2012, we filed a proposal with the NM Public Regulation Commission to install 20 megawatts of additional solar capacity. Geothermal and additional customer-owned solar facilities were also part of the proposal. We should have a decision on that later this year.
By 2015, 15 percent of your electricity will be renewable energy and in 2020 it will be 20 percent.
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.
We take seriously our responsibility to balance the needs of the environment, reliability and cost.