Hannah Grover, Farmington Daily TimesPublished 12:16 p.m. MT April 17, 2020

AZTEC — With Public Service Company of New Mexico preparing to end its use of the San Juan Generating Station, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission must decide how the utility will receive its power in the future.

The PRC will likely rule on how PNM can replace the electricity currently generated by the San Juan Generating Station this month.

Commissioners say if a decision does not come on April 22 it will likely be made the following week.

PNM has proposed a mixture of natural gas generation as well as solar and batteries to replace the power it currently receives from the coal-fired power plants.

However, Commissioner Stephen Fischmann said he does not believe PNM did enough to find generation sources within Central Consolidated School District boundaries as required by the Energy Transition Act.

Fischmann requested that the case be discussed during the April 15 meeting prior to the PRC hearing examiners presenting their recommended decision to the commissioners on April 22. The PRC meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Instructions about how to participate in the meeting will be posted on the PRC’s website.

Fischmann said he has read through much of the testimony from the case as well as the recommended decision.

“There were a couple of concerns that came up for me,” he said.

The PNM proposal calls for 280 megawatts of natural gas in the CCSD boundaries. All solar arrays would be located outside of San Juan County. The natural gas power plant would be closed after about 15 years.

Fischmann said he supports approving two power purchase agreements for solar power from arrays located in McKinley County and on Jicarilla Apache lands.

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