Nov. 26, 2014
More Solar on the Horizon for PNM Customers
Albuquerque: State regulators today approved a PNM plan to build four new solar centers next year with a combined capacity of 40 megawatts that could power 16,100 average homes. The new solar represents a $79 million investment in green energy.
"Adding this solar not only increases PNM's portfolio of emission-free resources, it is also an economic choice for our customers," said Pat O'Connell, PNM director of Resource Planning.
These solar centers will cost less than half of PNM's first solar centers, which were built in 2011. Customers will benefit from a 30 percent federal tax break that drops to 10 percent after 2016.
As a result of a competitive bidding process, PNM selected Colorado-based Juwi Solar, Inc. and a joint venture between Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar Inc. with Grupo Gransolar S.L, to build the centers. The projects will create local jobs during the construction phase and new tax revenue for the communities where they are located. PNM is still assessing potential sites, primarily in Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties.
PNM has eight solar centers in operation and three under construction. In addition to solar energy, PNM customers receive energy from the New Mexico Wind Energy Center; next year they will also receive energy from the Red Mesa Wind Energy Center. PNM is the first and only utility to use energy from the Dale Burgett Geothermal Plant. By 2016, the energy generated by PNM's renewable resources will equal that used by roughly 150,000 residential customers. Because wind and solar are weather dependent, they must be used along with conventional power sources like natural gas, nuclear and coal.
In September, the company along with consumer and environmental advocates came to an agreement on PNM's plan (originally filed in June). In October, the N.M. Public Regulation Commission held a public hearing on the plan. PRC commissioners voted to approve the procurement of 40 MW of solar PV at today's open meeting.
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.