SJCA Guide to

Energy Transition

Coal isn’t coming back. Economic transition won’t be easy, but it doesn’t have to be devastating. A just transition for northwest New Mexico is possible. (Photo: CC BY Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)

Energy Transition in Northwest New Mexico

Coal isn’t coming back. That’s important to understand, particularly for impacted communities.

Early closure of the San Juan Generating Station in Farmington, New Mexico will certainly cause economic turbulence, but it doesn’t have to be devastating.

Just Transition means local communities economically dependent on coal and hardest hit by global changes in energy technology are not left behind as the world transitions to cleaner energy.

Energy producers, like PNM, have a responsibility to help fund that transition. These are tough times for the Four Corners region. When the plant closes, PNM will likely recoup its losses. But workers and their families, local cities, San Juan County, and Central Consolidated Schools stand to lose millions of dollars in revenue.

Local government must make smart investments to support diversification. We are ready for a “both/and” economic development strategy so young people of the region choose to stay here and lead their lives and we can continue to grow our own businesses and economy, for the betterment of us all.

By moving aggressively to create new economic development, we can ensure Farmington’s future will be as bright as it was during the coal boom.

Photo of San Juan Generating Station with gas pump
utility scale Solar development

The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is working to recoup its investment from an earlier than planned retirement of San Juan Generating Station. As part of any deal, we’ll insist that PNM:

Financially support regional economic transition needs, including:

  • Job training in solar energy, further education (via Dine College and San Juan College) and new start-ups
  • Economic diversification in the Four Corners to take advantage of area’s tourism and recreation, agriculture, and health care.
Replace power generated from coal with utility-scale solar and/or storage utilizing existing transmission capacity on existing industrialized sites.
Put the trained workforce to good use reclaiming mines and coal ash waste pits, turning environmental liabilities into benefits.

These are tough times for the Four Corners region, but by moving forward aggressively to create new economic development, we can ensure that Farmington’s future will be as bright as it was during the coal boom. Hover below to learn more about several promising industries!

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