PNM to adhere to Clean Power Plan despite Trump’s criticism


The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) will comply with carbon emission reduction targets set under the Clean Power Plan despite the Trump administration dismantling the policy.

According to a local publication, the energy distribution company says it will continue with plans to reduce reliance on fossil fuels through to 2031.

The utility is currently generating 56% of its energy from its two coal-fired energy generation facilities. By the end of this year, PNM is going to retire two generators at its San Juan station and install measures to reduce nitrogen emissions on remaining units to retire the whole plant by 2022.

The plan is to generate at least 12% of total energy using coal by 2025.

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a statement saying carbon emissions goals set under the Clean Power Plan are unrealistic and cannot be reached.

Ray Sandoval, spokesperson at PNM, said: “The actions we have planned represent the most cost-effective ways to serve our customers with reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy.”

The question which remains behind is whether the utility will be granted approval by the state Public Utilities Commission to retire the coal fired energy plants.

Although the US Supreme Court has since last year placed the Clean Power Plan on hold, energy companies have seen the benefits of relying on renewable energy resources and have increasing investments in clean energy generation and technologies.

Carbon emission and clean energy adoption

In early May, the company had conducted a routine assessment of future power supply scenarios, through which it found that “the best version of its future self…was entirely coal-free.”

Julie McNamara wrote in a blog post for the Union of Concerned Scientists, “PNM’s vision of the future leaves viable renewable resources and energy efficiency opportunities on the table, and leans too heavily on natural gas—a path that puts customers at risk of bearing the high costs of overreliance.” Read more…


Image Credit: 123rf.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.