The PNM plan deals another blow to proposed San Juan carbon-capture retrofit.
Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) will begin construction work as soon as January on a massive buildout of utility-scale solar generation and power storage projects in the shadow of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) near Farmington.
PNM executives anticipate the projects, which will total 950 megawatts (MW) of generation and companion storage, will come online in stages around the time SJGS is retired in late June of 2022.
The initiative seriously undercuts a plan to keep the 847-MW SJGS alive under a long-shot carbon-capture retrofit being promoted by elected officials in the City of Farmington and Enchant Energy. It comes also as electricity-generation nationally is moving directly from coal to less expensive renewables, skipping what was long seen as the “bridge fuel” step around gas-fired generation.
PNM’s plan, contained in a regulatory filing published last week, details its intentions for complying with the state’s Energy Transition Act, which calls for 50% of the state’s electricity—from investor-owned utilities and rural co-ops alike—to come from renewables by 2030 and 80% by 2040.