PNM unveils new grid modernization plan

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – PNM said it plans to move away from power plants in remote areas, and adopt new technology that allows an easier transition to sustainable energy.

“Our grid needs to be modernized to keep up with what our customers want today,” PNM’s Chief Policy and Legal Advisor Laura Sanchez said. “Today’s customers want the opportunity to add rooftop solar with energy storage, plug in electric vehicles, and community solar.”

That is why Monday morning, PNM is proposed a Grid Modernization plan to invest $344 million over a six-year period.

Officials said it would add technology to the current power grid that will not only make those changes possible, but will also make systems more reliable.

“Which means that the lights come on when you flip the switch, and that it is resilient, which means that the grid can better deal with restoration from storms and vulnerabilities from cyber threats,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez added that customers would no longer have to call in power outages because the company would automatically be notified.

“And we will be able to isolate the outage so we can target crews to just that section of the system that needs repair,” she said.

Sanchez said Grid Modernization would also allow PNM to use smart meters.

“Which are digital and provide data to our customers, allowing them to adjust their behaviors and electrical use in real time, and thereby seeing a direct result on their month end bill,” she said.       

PNM officials predict these changes will cost close to $1.20 per month, per residence. If the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission gives the green light, the proposed plan will likely take effect in the fall of 2023.