Today, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously decided to replace San Juan Generating Station power with 100 percent renewable energy when the coal-fired power plant is retired in 2022.
This decision marks an extraordinary turning point in the energy future of the Four Corners, and is incredibly important for the long-term prosperity and health of local communities.
From the start, we have advocated for an energy transition that recognizes the rapidly improving economics of renewables and the benefits of clean power for San Juan County. Now, this decision will modernize power generation, improve public health, and stabilize the local economy. It also means more than 1,000 construction jobs and investment of $1 billion in Four Corners communities
Read more in our full press release below:
For immediate release:
July 29, 2020
Robyn Jackson, Diné C.A.R.E., 505-862-4433, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Eisenfeld, San Juan Citizens Alliance, 505-360-8994, email@example.com
Kyle Tisdel, Western Environmental Law Center, 575-770-7501, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Singer, Western Environmental Law Center, 505-231-1070, email@example.com
New Mexico PRC embraces 100% renewable future for Four Corners
Today, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted unanimously to replace San Juan Generating Station power with 100% renewable energy when the coal-fired power plant is retired in 2022. This decision will modernize power generation, improve public health, and stabilize the local economy.
The decision will save ratepayers more than $6 per month, support 1,000 construction jobs, and invest $1 billion in Four Corners communities – $447 million in the Consolidated School District and $430 million in McKinley and Rio Arriba counties. This decision puts the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) in line to achieve the 40% renewable generation goal required by the state’s Energy Transition Act a full two years ahead of the 2025 deadline.
“This historic decision will benefit communities and generations in the Four Corners region for years to come,” said Robyn Jackson of Diné C.A.R.E. “By unanimously agreeing to an all-renewables replacement of coal power with solar and battery storage within affected communities and the Central Consolidated School District, economic relief and renewal is possible. This decision is a solid investment in community health and future economic sustainability.”
Experts testified at the PRC hearing on replacement power that a 100% renewable portfolio provides more economic stability and opportunities for job creation by serving as a commercial-scale energy storage hub for Southwestern utilities, based on existing transmission capacity.
“This is an historic decision for the Four Corners community to transition from reliance on fossil fuels,” said Mike Eisenfeld of San Juan Citizens Alliance. “This decision also triggers much-needed Energy Transition Act funds to support the local community.”
Today’s PRC decision will also stimulate the economy by hiring people for coal mine reclamation, improving property values with the decommissioning of the coal plant, and enhancing business opportunities in the recreation, agritourism, and other sectors.
“With the retirement of San Juan Generating Station, a new door is opening in San Juan County and in New Mexico,” said Kyle Tisdel of the Western Environmental Law Center. “This is about our future, and the opportunities that exist if we can end the addiction to fossil fuels that have been undermining the health of our communities and the livability of our planet. This decision will diversify our economy and end the cycle of boom and bust for these coal-dependent communities. Outdoor recreation, mine reclamation, and solar are the future, and San Juan County can have it all.”
A report with technical details is available here.