PNM plans to shut down coal units at power plant

Posted at: 09/03/2013 6:45 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

PNM and several other power producers have proposed a plan to shut down two coal units at the San Juan Generating Plant near Farmington.

The plant is required to comply with a federal visibility rule that was going to create a huge cost for customers in the state by forcing companies to install costly pollution-reducing technology. Instead, PNM proposed a plan that would make two of the units defunct, but would cost consumers a lot less in the long run.

They will propose the plan to the Environmental Improvement Board on September 5 and 6. If the EIB approves it, the Environmental Protection Agency will then approve it. If the EPA approves it, units 2 and 3 would be retired by December 31, 2017.

They will also need to come up with a replacement power source. What it will be is still up in the air, but there’s a possibility of a mix of gas fire generation nuclear power. If the replacement is expensive, there’s a possibility PNM will have to ask for rate recovery from the Public Regulation Commission.

PNM has made a commitment not to lay off any workers at the plant. They are also investing $1 million in Navajo Nation workforce training. 

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