Regulators have rejected an effort by Unusual Mexico’s largest electrical utility to recoup from customers tens of millions of bucks of investments made in a coal-fired strength plant within the northwestern nook of the inform
BySUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Regulators rejected on Wednesday an effort by Unusual Mexico’s largest electrical utility to recoup from customers tens of millions of bucks of investments made in a coal-fired strength plant within the northwestern nook of the inform and a nuclear strength plant in neighboring Arizona.
The Public Law Commission’s resolution device Public Carrier Co. of Unusual Mexico customers will no longer opt to endure some costs linked with PNM’s stake within the Four Corners Vitality Plant discontinuance to Farmington or within the Palo Verde Generating Order outdoor of Phoenix. Commissioners said those investments had been no longer prudent.
General, residential customers will compare a lower in charges as an replacement of the 9.7% develop that the utility changed into seeking.
The commission said in a observation that PNM silent will seemingly be ready to bag an affordable return on its investments whereas offering legitimate service to bigger than 500,000 customers across the inform.
PNM filed a inquire for its first fee hike in years in leisurely 2022, announcing the almost $64 million in extra revenue changed into well-known as section of a long-timeframe conception to recoup $2.6 billion in investments well-known to modernize the grid and meet inform mandates for transitioning faraway from coal and pure gasoline.
The utility also had cited the expiration of lease agreements for electricity from the Palo Verde plant and the must refinance debt to take excellent thing about lower interest charges.
Listening to examiners with the Public Law Commission who reviewed the case urged in December that the commission reject costs linked with the sale of leases at Palo Verde to a third event. They also said PNM’s 2016 resolution to speculate in extending the lifetime of the Four Corners plant wasn’t prudent.
PNM officers said leisurely Wednesday that they had been reviewing the commission’s disclose. The utility has except Feb. 2 to streak seeking a rehearing outdated to the commission.
Particular person advocates and environmental groups had been overjoyed the commission opted to reject one of the necessary crucial costs linked with PNM’s investments.
“The commission acknowledged that PNM failed to do its due diligence outdated to reinvesting in Four Corners after 2016, when there had been definite indicators that coal is a costly and deadly fuel,” said Matthew Gerhart, a senior authorized professional with Sierra Club.
The utility had tried to divest itself from Four Corners by transferring its shares to a Navajo strength company. Nonetheless, regulators rejected that proposal, a resolution that changed into later upheld by the Unusual Mexico Supreme Court.
Positioned on the Navajo Nation, the Four Corners plant is operated by Arizona Public Carrier Co. The utility owns a majority of shares within the plant’s two remaining items.
Navajo Transitional Vitality Co. had sought to take over PNM’s shares, announcing that battling an early closure of the strength plant would abet soften the industrial blow to communities which have long relied on tax revenue and jobs tied to coal-fired generation.
The nearby San Juan Generating Order changed into shuttered in 2022, sending financial ripples by the surrounding communities. PNM had operated that plant for decades.