New Mexico utility appeals decision on coal power plant
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest electric provider is appealing a recent decision by state regulators to reject a proposal to transfer its shares in a coal-fired power plant that supplies customers in New Mexico and Arizona to a Navajo energy company.
The Public Regulation Commission voted earlier this month against the proposal, saying Public Service Co. of New Mexico didn’t specify how the lost power would be replaced. Commissioners also had concerns about investments that the utility sought to recover through bonds that would be paid back by customers.
PNM filed its notice of appeal with the New Mexico Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The utility has argued that the plan would protect customers, trim emissions from its portfolio and strengthen the Navajo Nation’s position when it comes to determining the future of the Four Corners Power Plant, which is located on tribal land in northwestern New Mexico.
Environmentalists had criticized the proposed transfer of PNM’s shares to the Navajo Transitional Energy Co., suggesting it would prevent an early closure. However, there hasn’t been any willingness by the plant’s majority owner — Arizona Public Service Co. — to end operations early.