PNM Emissions Intensity 0212

Historic and projected emissions intensity under Public Service Company of New Mexico's most cost-effective plans.

Public Service Company of New Mexico in its latest integrated resource plan detailed its road map for achieving emissions-free power by 2040, five years ahead of the mandate imposed in New Mexico's 2019 Energy Transition Act.

PNM on Feb. 4 filed to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission a corrected version of its 2020-2040 IRP. The original, filed Jan. 29, included distorted figures in an appendix to the plan, according to a note from PNM that accompanied the corrected filing [21-00033-UT].

The company, as previously stated, will abandon or transfer its interest in existing coal generation by 2025. PNM in 2020 received regulatory approval for the abandonment of the San Juan Generating Station and replacement of its generation capacity in the plant with renewable resources. In January, it filed to the NMPRC an application to transfer its 13-percent share in the Four Corners Power Plant, its last remaining coal asset, to the Navajo Transitional Energy Company in 2024 (see CEM No. 1624).

The plant's operator, Arizona Public Service, plans to close Four Corners in 2031. NTEC, which already owns a 7-percent stake in the plant and the mine that supplies it, plans to sell its share of Four Corners generation on the wholesale market.

PNM will invest in renewable resources, energy efficiency and storage in the ensuing decades. It put forth in the IRP both a "technology neutral" and a "no new combustion" scenario for achieving its goals. The technology-neutral option includes hydrogen in the company's resource mix, which would require PNM to retrofit natural gas capacity it plans to bring on line in the 2020s to run on carbon-free fuels by 2040. The no-new-combustion plan excludes hydrogen and includes a larger percentage of solar and battery storage in its portfolio. Both plans rely on as-yet-undeveloped technology to meet resource-adequacy requirements, and also include nuclear generation.

The company in its plan pointed to the "crucial role" of traditional baseload resources in maintaining resource adequacy as demand increases. "We view the preservation of reliability for our customers as a fundamental requirement," the plan says.

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Associate Editor - California Energy Markets

Abigail Sawyer grew up in northwestern New Mexico near two massive coal-fired power plants. She spent many hours gazing out the car window at transmission lines on family road trips across the Southwest and now reports on the region from San Francisco.