Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing attended the PNM “stakeholder” meeting in Albuquerque. Here are some of his main thoughts about the first meeting:
1) As the info-graphic below illustrates (I could not find it on their website) PNM has proposed four different paths forward under the ETA. In reality only the 1st and 2nd paths are viable as the 3rd and 4th would make the electrical grid too unstable.
2) The 1st scenario is what PNM prefers and the cost would be an estimate $4.678 billion over 20 years. That comes to $233.9 million each year over 20 years. When I asked PNM how they planned to deal with those costs and reduce rates for average utility payers by $7.11 per month (presented on a separate slide) I was told that they were expecting to save $30 million/annually on fuel costs. That leaves more than $200 million in annual costs unspoken for. Where will PNM get that money? Seems like either rate payers or taxpayers are the only option, but I was not given the chance for a follow-up.
3) Under both of their preferred plans PNM plans to invest in significant natural gas power, but the also plan to be “zero carbon” by 2040. According to PNM these plants traditionally depreciate over 30 years, but they will have to depreciate them over 18. Seems like a lot of wasted money.
4) The remaining generation capacity at San Juan Generating Station is 475 Megawatts. Under the “preferred” plan PNM would like to bring 280 MW of gas and 350 MW of solar on for a total of 630. Does PNM expect demand to grow by that much? Considering that option 2 would add 476 MW of natural gas it would seem that PNM doesn’t plan for significant growth.
These are just some of our biggest questions from the meeting. Another such meeting will be held at San Juan College on July 30 although PNM seems to not do much to publicize these events on their websites.
7 Replies to “PNM’s “stakeholder” meeting or, how PNM plans to implement NM’s Green New Deal”
I probably will not be around in 2040; however New Mexicans will be paying twice as much for energy as Texas. Bet on it. New Green Deal. How stupid can you get.
For estimate $4.678 billion, PNM could easily upgrade the coal power plant with Carbon Capture Technology and keep the plants operating until 2040. By that time the NuScale small modular reactors from UAMPS would be producing clean safe electricity for several western states including New Mexico with Gallup as one of its members.
The first 12 reactors are scheduled for 2024 in Idaho at INL with future sites in various western states, including New Mexico. It seems like the left hand has no concept of what the right hand is doing and in the process is wasting billions of tax dollars (also rate payers) on wind and solar (also NG).
Here is a list of those UAMPS members: https://www.uamps.com/Members
My second point would be that PNM has 10% investment in Palo Grande Nuclear Power Plant in Arizona. They are already pulling electricity from there and could increase that amount as well. Yet the chart doesn’t show nuclear power at all. Someone has miss something very important here or it could be intentional.
It appears that my first point was not saved properly. So here it is again:
UAMPS is implementing the NuScale Small Modular Reactor at INL for generating clean safe electricity for member states/utilities which Gallup NM is one of those members. This power source will be available in 2024.
The estimate $4.678 billion over 20 years would be better spent on Carbon Capture Technology instead of decommissioning San Juan and building unreliable wind and solar which requires lots of NG. By 2040, NM could have it’s first commercial nuclear power plant to meet its zero-emission goals.
In the meantime, PNM is already drawing electricity from Palo Verde NNP and this bit of information was not mentioned on their transition path chart. Someone has missed a very important point OR intentionally left it off the chart.
And point #3: The Department of Energy is investing in clean coal, oil and gas. So why is New Mexico going out on a limb with decarbonation only to mostly likely fail?
Does PNM care how much it spends to generate electricity as long as its plans are approved by the PSC? It’s my understanding the PNM has a statutorily guaranteed rate of return of about 10% per annum on investment.