Sept. 29, 2014
EPA Approves Revised State Plan for PNM's San Juan Generating Station
Albuquerque, NM: PNM praised Friday's decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approving a revised state plan to comply with federal environmental rules. The plan calls for closing two of four units at the San Juan Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant located in the Four Corners area of northwestern New Mexico. Implementation of the revised plan would result in a significant reduction of water use and emissions at the plant and a 30 percent reduction of coal in PNM's portfolio..
"EPA approval is further validation that we are on the right path toward a cleaner and more balanced power supply that will also remain affordable," said Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of PNM Resources. "I thank N.M.Gov. Susana Martinez and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly for their leadership on this important issue."
PNM, the N.M. Environment Department and EPA representatives proposed the revised plan 18 months ago, with encouragement from Gov. Martinez and President Shelly, as a cost-effective approach for complying with federal haze regulations. Importantly, the revised plan will also put New Mexico well down the path toward compliance with new carbon regulations proposed by the EPA in June.
A federal plan would have required the installation of expensive technology on the plant's four units to reduce haze at wilderness areas and national parks. The revised plan calls for the retirement of Units 2 and 3 at the plant by the end of 2017 and the installation of less expensive nitrogen oxide emissions reduction technology on the remaining two units in early 2016, saving PNM customers an estimated $780 million over twenty years.
San Juan is a key contributor to the Four Corners economy. As part of the plan, PNM shareholders pledged $1 million over five years for job training initiatives for Navajo students in the Four Corners.
The final step before the plan can be implemented is approval by the N.M. Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC). Last year, it won unanimous approval from the N.M. Environmental Improvement Board. Settlement discussions with the various parties to the NMPRC case are ongoing.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 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.