New Mexico regulators move forward on clean energy standard
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission last week narrowly approved a proposal that calls for scheduling workshops on a clean energy standard, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
Under the proposed standard utilities in the state would have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4% annually through 2040.
- Supporters of the proposed clean energy standard say it would protect ratepayers from the costs of future environmental regulations.
New Mexico utilities are embracing clean energy, but under a proposal put forward by the state’s attorney general and consumer advocates, they could have even more impetus to move to renewable energy. Under the proposed clean energy standard, utilities would have to cut CO2 emissions by 4% through 2040.
Public Service Co. New Mexico, the state’s largest utility, also crafted a draft Integrated Resource Plan that would end its use of coal-fired generation by 2031. The plan calls for the retirement of four units at the San Juan coal plant and exiting participation in the Four Corners coal plant.
Instead, the utility plans to emphasize renewables and natural gas-fired generation. Public Service Co. New Mexico has already invested almost $270 million in 15 solar generation facilities.
In other parts of the state, Xcel Energy is planning two wind farms to serve customers in New Mexico and West Texas, and El Paso Electric is contracting to buy power from solar farms in the region.
The state's efforts to encourage more renewable energy follows U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt's move to repeal the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama's signature climate rule. However, an analysis says the repeal likely won't stop states from investing in renewable energy, even as the Trump administration introduces proposals to prop up coal generation.
- Santa Fe New Mexican New Mexico regulators move ahead with clean energy proposal
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