Sept. 5, 2013
PNM Applauds State Board Decision to Move Forward With Plan for San Juan Generating Station
Albuquerque: PNM today praised a unanimous decision by the N.M. Environmental Improvement Board to approve a state plan that provides a new path forward for San Juan Generating Station to comply with federal environmental rules.
Following a public hearing, today the state board approved by a proposal from the N.M. Environment Department that would lead to the retirement of two of San Juan's four coal-fired units by the end of 2017, and the installation of nitrogen-oxide reducing technology on the remaining two units in early 2016. The plan still requires approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before it becomes final. That process is expected to take about a year.
PNM currently is required to comply with a costly federal plan that would require installation of more expensive technology on all four units. While there is a cost associated with implementing the state plan approved today, it will cost customers less than the federal plan. In addition, the state plan is more forward looking and reduces seven different power plant pollutants, compared to the one reduction addressed by the federal plan.
"The state plan is better for New Mexico because it reduces the cost impact on our customers and allows us to replace a significant amount of coal-fired generation with cleaner fuels," said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM chairman, president and CEO. "The plan would reduce not only haze-forming emissions but also carbon emissions, water usage and coal combustion byproducts, which puts the plant ahead of new and tougher environmental regulations we know are coming. We appreciate the leadership N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez provided on this issue to allow us to reach today's milestone."
With the encouragement of Gov. Martinez, details of the plan approved today were developed through negotiations earlier this year with the N.M. Environment Department, EPA and PNM and comments from other stakeholders. The terms of the plan focus on how San Juan would meet a federal visibility rule. In connection with the implementation of the plan, PNM plans to build a natural gas plant in San Juan County that will operate primarily during times of peak demand. Detailed replacement power strategies will be finalized separately from the haze plan and are expected to be filed with the N.M. Public Regulation Commission in December and could include various sources, including the possible inclusion of existing nuclear.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.
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Statements made in this news release that relate to PNM's expectations, projections and estimates are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that all forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and estimates, and PNM assumes no obligation to update this information.