February 25, 2019 Read More →

New Mexico utility backs bill requiring carbon-free electricity by 2045

Albuquerque Journal:

A bill to make New Mexico’s electricity generation 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 will get its first hearing today in the Senate Conservation Committee.

The Energy Transition Act, Senate Bill 489, has a broad coalition of supporters from across the state, representing near-consensus among most leading environmental groups and local utilities to push the state’s electric grid into almost complete reliance on renewable energy over the next 25 years.

It’s priority legislation for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who campaigned on promises for a clean energy economy.

The state’s largest utility, Public Service Company of New Mexico, has thrown its support behind SB 489, marking a turning point that, for the first time, puts environmentalists, state officials and utilities on a shared path for ending fossil fuel generation.

“It takes us out of our comfort zone,” PNM President, Chairman and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn told the editorial board Wednesday. “But it’s where New Mexico wants to go. … We need to be able to step up to the challenge.”

If approved, the bill would require public utilities to rely on renewables such as solar and wind for 50 percent of all electricity sales by 2030, and 80 percent by 2040. By 2045, no carbon-emitting resources would be permitted, although the last 20 percent of electric sales could come from new generating technologies, such as carbon capture for natural gas, or advanced battery storage backup to offset the intermittence of renewable resources.

More: PNM firmly supports clean energy initiative

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