Gov. Lujan Grisham and the Public Regulation Commission seem to believe that by pushing the closure of San Juan Generating Station until after the end of this summer that they have “taken care of” New Mexico’s electricity reliability issues.
The reality could not be further from the truth. As the Albuquerque Journal and Rio Grande Foundation have BOTH pointed out, getting through this summer does not mean the blackout situation is “solved.” We likely need a natural gas plant based in the Four Corners or elsewhere, but that was rejected by the PRC. As noted, “PNM officials and others criticized the PRC for rejecting PNM’s proposal to build a 280-megawatt “peaking” natural gas plant – which can rapidly ramp up and down as needed – alongside new renewable generation when it ruled on San Juan replacement power in 2020.”
We have heard of no action undertaken by the Lujan Grisham Administration to create viable means of keeping the lights on in the summer of 2023 (when additional base load capacity in the form of Palo Verde will be lost).
UPDATE: In another case of the Rio Grande Foundation being ahead of the curve, this story ran on Thursday, May 12, 2022 detailing the challenges PNM is facing in obtaining solar panels to prepare for Summer of 2023. According to PNM, “Those delays mean that nearly half of the 950 megawatts of solar generation and battery storage that was scheduled to be fully online by early next year now won’t be available until after summer 2023.”
The Gov. is going to ignore the problem and hope voters don’t hold this against her in November, but there is no doubt that New Mexico’s electricity issues are a problem.
5 Replies to “Questions still loom for New Mexico electricity reliability”
Waiting to see what this is if it’s democratic shit I’ll opt out.
A natural gas plant for “backup” is a no brainer! For example, volcanoes can and have caused brownouts that last for weeks! They are trying to move from fossil fuels to electric power too quickly
They’re trying to actually push more for the “renewable” energy because the greenies/lefties are aware of the lesser amounts of fertilizer we can get from Russia thanks to he-who-shall-not-be-named (the one in the White House). Their magical thinking seems to be by forcing fossil fuels out of the picture, it will just suddenly be perfect and magic. It seems like they believe in enough, they can wish it into existence. We. Don’t. Have. Green. Infrastructure. Or the technology to do this now, no matter how much greenies try to force it. If they had taken a couple of science classes in college instead of sensitivity and safe space construction, they’d know this. These are the people who you see double-masked at the Post Office!
PNM has us right where they want us. Shutting down the 24/7 reliable power from Palo Verde, Four Corners and SJGS will require billions of new investment in solar/wind/batteries and we’ll still have blackouts that will require even more billions to “fix.” Why, PNM is just following the law, which requires 50% RE by 2030 and 80% by 2040. Note what a PNM exec said in the following, under “Rate hike inevitable.” The cost to “upgrade the state’s grid” will be $1.2 billion, and if you think that will be enough, I have a bridge to sell you. An appointed PRC can’t be any worse than the elected morons we now have.
Sandy Jones was a PRC commissioner who was defeated in the last primary by Steve Fischmann, who is now PRC Chairman. Jones was a good one. He once said that he looked to California for guidance — on what NOT to do.