Plans that were originally rejected by a New Mexico Public Regulations Commission hearing examiner for an 80MW renewable energy plan have been modified by PNM Resources to a 22MW utility-scale solar power facility and collectively approved for installation at several sites throughout the state of New Mexico. Regulators capped the facilities’ cost at US$101.7 million with PNM intending to file for recovery of the costs through a rate rider, which will be executed one year after PNM rates become effective. Currently, rates are still under consideration.
“We are pleased that the Commission recognized the significance of adding renewable energy to our existing generation resources,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources president and CEO. “Our industry, along with regulators, needs to continue to look for ways to add renewable power while balancing the cost impact to consumers. This is the first step toward achieving that goal and meeting the state’s requirement to diversify our energy resources.”
In addition to the 22MW solar plan, the Commission also gave the go ahead for a plan to construct a .5MW solar power and storage demonstration project, which is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Construction for the 22MW solar installation is expected to reach completion by the end of next year.