PNM Discusses Preliminary Energy Planning Analysis
Results of Integrated Resource Planning show path for future energy production
By Dan Ware, PNM | March 16, 2017
(Albuquerque, N.M.) – A preliminary analysis by PNM of its options for providing customers energy in the future shows that retiring the remaining two units of San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) in the Farmington area in 2022 could provide long-term benefits to customers. The analysis is part of the PNM process to create an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which is currently underway.
Every three years, PNM is required to file an IRP, in which the company analyzes the various energy supply options for the future and identifies a resource portfolio that will most effectively balance reliability, affordability, and environmental responsibility. The IRP process includes many different activities- modeling different resource options, seeking public input through a series of open meetings, and evaluating huge amounts of data. The IRP looks at a 20-year planning horizon, and includes a detailed action plan for the next four years.
PNM is currently working on its 2017 IRP, which must be filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) this coming July. This IRP will be different from previous plans and is part of the settlement agreement and PRC order regarding SJGS. It requires PNM to submit two resource scenarios – one with and one without the SJGS after 2022. Under the settlement agreement, PNM is already on track to retire SJGS units 2 and 3 by the end of 2017, while continuing to operate units 1 and 4 until at least 2022.
“I want to stress that this is only a preliminary finding regarding our San Juan Generating Station, “ said PNM Resources President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn. “No decisions have been made. We have a lot of work to do and will be having discussions with the other owners and considering public input before the IRP is finalized and ready to submit to the PRC.”
The year-long IRP process includes a review of the company’s existing, diverse resource portfolio including wind, solar, geothermal, coal, natural gas and nuclear generation as well as energy efficiency and demand response programs. The public helps PNM explore the issues that impact energy planning such as transmission and distribution, regulation, integration of renewable resources with traditional energy sources, the environment and the need to deliver reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible power to serve customers and support economic development in New Mexico. Before any actions could be taken regarding SJGS, there are many legal, regulatory and other processes that would have to take place, including discussion with the other SJGS owners. An ultimate determination about the future of SJGS will be made through a separate regulatory process with the PRC.
“It’s vital for the public to be involved in this collaborative planning process, and we will continue to need their input as we look to finalize the IRP by this summer,” continued Vincent-Collawn. “We understand and recognize the fact that retiring the station would impact not only the local economies of Farmington, San Juan County and the Four Corners, but the state of New Mexico as well.”
The preliminary analysis also shows that retiring the San Juan Generating Station would provide PNM an opportunity to increase renewable energy production and add operational flexibility to its system.
PNM will hold additional public advisory meetings prior to filing the IRP with the PRC in July. More information about the IRP process can be found athttps://www.pnm.com/irp