Today, PNM Resources, owner of Public Service New Mexico announced that it plans to transfer its 13% stake in the Four Corners Coal-Fired power plant to Navaho Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) in 2024. In addition, the company will give the Navaho Nation $16 million in economic aid through a regulatory statute outlined in the 2019 Energy Transition Act.
PNM said that the transfer of the power plant will lead to $100M in customer savings.
Shareholders, not customers, will pay $75M in coal contract obligations resulting from PNM exiting the plant seven years ahead of schedule. Shareholders will also forgo collecting any profit from the deal. PNM currently has a 13% ownership stake in the 1,540-MW power plant (specifically it owns part of units 4 and 5). These 200 MW comprise less than 10 percent of PNM’s total energy portfolio and reflect the last of PNM’s remaining coal- fired generation capacity.
Karl Cates, Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis was interviewed for an article in the Albuquerque Journal and said that the Navaho Nation is prioritizing a short-term windfall over the longer-term implications of owning an uneconomical coal-fired power plant when other coal plants are shutting down. He said that in the long run, the plant could end up costing the Navaho Nation quite a bit more.