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Utility asks court to overturn rejection of power plant plan

January 22, 2022 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest electric provider is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision by regulators and let the utility proceed with a plan to transfer its shares in a coal-fired power plant to a Navajo energy company.

A filing Friday by Public Service Co. of New Mexico suggested that the Public Regulation Commission acted “arbitrarily, capriciously and contrary to law” and misinterpreted a 2019 law that encourages PNM to replace coal-fired plants with renewable forms of energy, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The commission in December rejected PNM’s proposal, saying the company didn’t explain how it would replace the lost power now provided by the Four Corners Power Plant. Commissioners also voiced concerns about investments that the utility sought to recover through bonds that would be paid back by customers.

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The 40-page filing Friday was part of PNM’s appeal to the state high court.

The utility has argued that the plan would protect customers, trim emissions from its portfolio and strengthen the Navajo Nation’s position in determining the future of plant, which is located on tribal land between Shiprock and Farmington in northwestern New Mexico.

Arizona Public Service Co. is the plant’s majority owner.