PNM presented incomplete case for power line - Albuquerque Journal

PNM presented incomplete case for power line

The Public Regulation Commission has recently taken flak for its decision on the BB2 transmission line, but we must admit the decision was based on confusing information provided by PNM, and for that, we take full responsibility. When we presented our case to the PRC, we didn’t do a good job presenting the full story or describing how the BB2 transmission line benefits our customers throughout the state, not solely Facebook. In order to fix any misunderstanding and to ensure we treat all customers fairly, we are requesting the opportunity to have our case reheard so we can move forward, together.

Our initial description of the BB2 line during the PRC hearing did not clearly explain how this project upgrades our entire transmission system, and we did not do our job of plainly stating how this project would benefit our customers beyond Facebook. PNM understands our vital role in presenting the commission with a clear picture, and unfortunately, the picture we presented was a bit fuzzy. In order to put our best foot forward, and to ensure we treat all customers fairly, we are requesting the opportunity to have our case reconsidered.

To clear up any confusion, I want every New Mexican to know why this project is so important, and why we are asking the PRC to reconsider this decision. The BB2 line provides customers across the state with several types of improved reliability, it adds more renewable energy to our state’s generation portfolio and, perhaps most importantly, it saves our customers $21.5 million in system costs while delivering more reliability. This project is not the Facebook project, it is the New Mexico project, because it will serve all our customers, it will benefit the entire state and it will be an integral part of our renewable energy. In fact, the line does not connect to Facebook’s facilities – it is actually three counties away.

The BB2 line is key for New Mexico’s economic growth, allowing clean and affordable, renewable energy to flow from one end of the state to the other, powering our small businesses, expanding family enterprises and attracting global behemoths to our state as they seek out communities who have the natural and human resources to power their company with clean energy and committed employees. However, without the BB2 line, power from new and soon-to-be-developed renewable energy producers such as the La Joya wind project will not get delivered to the PNM system because our existing eastern transmission line is at its limit. BB2 increases the capacity to deliver renewable energy, and with it increases our ability to attract new companies by offering them affordable, reliable and clean energy to power their businesses.

We believe PNM can show the PRC on rehearing how the BB2 transmission line benefits all of our customers. We hope that by squarely admitting our fault, PNM also ensures that we aren’t charging Facebook twice or jeopardizing our other customers’ share in the benefit of $21.5 million dollars savings from the BB2 transmission project.

We believe if given the opportunity for reconsideration, PNM can clarify from the existing record to show the PRC how the BB2 transmission line will serve customers throughout the state and benefit them in a variety of ways. While we know this project has the potential to power our economy forward, we failed to explain this to the PRC. We hope by admitting our mistake, and giving the PRC the clear picture, the commission can reconsider this important case.

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