Dec. 18, 2013
PNM to Add More Solar and Wind Energy Starting Next Year
Albuquerque: PNM has received the green light to build three more solar energy centers in 2014 and add more wind energy in 2015, energy that will benefit all PNM customers.
The three new centers will feature approximately 300,000 panels mounted on single axis trackers that will follow the sun's movement from east to west. The panels will produce an estimated 64,500 megawatt-hours of electricity each year, the amount typically consumed by 8,500 average residential customers.
The new solar centers will be located in Valencia and Sandoval Counties and will create jobs during construction and provide additional tax revenue. First Solar, Inc. of Arizona was chosen to build the centers at a cost of approximately $47 million through a competitive bid process.
Starting Jan. 1, 2015, PNM customers will also receive power from the Red Mesa Wind Energy Center, a 102-megawatt facility located about 50 miles west of Albuquerque that is owned and operated by NextEra Energy.
The N.M. Public Regulation Commission approved the new solar and wind additions at its open meeting today. The added resources will mean an increase in customer bills of about 84 cents for the average customer starting in 2015.
"We've proposed new resources that, when integrated into our overall power supply portfolio, will provide the most cost-effective and reliable service while also protecting the environment today and in the future," said Pat O'Connell, PNM Planning and Resources Director.
Today, PNM customers receive energy from eight PNM solar centers in various locations and from the 204-megawatt New Mexico Wind Energy Center in House, N.M. In a few short weeks, New Mexico's first utility-scale geothermal energy center is also expected to begin serving PNM customers. The plant is being developed by Lightning Dock Geothermal in the Animas Valley in southwest of Lordsburg.
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.