NM: PNM seeks to eliminate coal by 2031, shift toward renewables


PNM has issued a draft integrated resource plan that includes significant renewables and energy-storage provisions. The draft IRP, which covers the 20-year period from 2017 to 2036, includes plans to:

  • Retire San Juan Generating Station Units 1 and 4 by the end of 2022 (Units 2 and 3 will be retired at the end of 2017), cease participation in the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant in 2031, and eliminate PNM’s use of coal-fired generation entirely by the end of 2031, replacing the lost capacity with renewables (primarily solar), flexible natural gas generators, and potentially energy storage. The use of energy storage depends on the economics of the proposals PNM receives through an RFP that PNM would conduct, as described in its four-year action plan.
  • Retain its capacity in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS), which is currently leased.

PNM’s proposed four-year action plan includes:

  • Adding renewables to maintain RPS compliance.
  • Exploring options to maintain system supply and reliability, including assess the costs and benefits of joining the California Energy Imbalance Market.
  • Filing for SJGS abandonment by July 1, 2018, and issuing RFPs for energy storage, renewables and flexible gas generators to validate the IRP assumptions and to further refine the mix of replacement resources, assuming SJGS retires in 2022.
  • Identifying the best opportunities to increase transmission capacity to eastern New Mexico to facilitate wind-energy development.

Public input and comments on PNM’s draft IRP will be considered as part of the ongoing IRP process, which culminates with PNM filing a final IRP with the Public Regulation Commission.