NM: Utility wants RPS waiver, proposes ending REC programs


El Paso Electric has filed its 2016 Renewable Energy Plan, which covers the utility’s procurement to meet New Mexico’s RPS for the years 2017-2018. EPE’s RPS requirement is 15% for each of those years. New Mexico also requires resource diversity, with the RPS composed of a mix of wind, solar and other renewables (including biomass, geothermal and landfill gas). Due to cost caps, the Public Regulation Commission had already granted EPE a partial waiver for 2017, and it is seeking a waiver for 2018, to acquire and retire only about 70% of the RECs it needs to meet the RPS. EPE also is seeking a waiver from diversity requirements because additional wind and biomass are not available cost-effectively, it stated.

Notably, EPE has requested the closure of its REC programs to DG customers with interconnection applications submitted on or after January 1, 2017. EPE seeks to close these tariffs because it does not require additional DG RECs to meet its RPS requirements. EPE also noted that paying for unneeded RECs will impact its “reasonable cost threshold” performance.