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PNM boosting wind and solar power in 2014, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Public Service Company of New Mexico proposes to add another 23 megawatts of solar energy to its electric system in 2014, and begin purchasing another 102.4 megawatts of wind-generated power starting in 2015.
If approved by the state Public Regulatory Commission, the system additions would add 83 cents to the average residential monthly bill starting next year.
The company filed its proposals with the PRC on Monday as part of its 2014 renewable energy procurement plan, which PNM must submit annually to show how it will meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The RPS requires New Mexico’s public utilities to derive at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources this year and next. That increases to 15 percent in 2015 and 20 percent in 2020.
PNM’s plan would hike its solar generating capacity by 30 percent next year to 67 megawatts. It would add 50 percent more wind-generated electricity to the system, up from 200 MW it now buys from a wind farm in House, NM.
With all resources combined, by 2015, PNM will provide enough renewable energy to power about 132,000 homes.
“With the renewable portfolio requirement growing to 15 percent in 2015, we’re adding a lot more resources to meet the mandates,” PNM spokeswoman Susan Sponar told the Journal.
Wind-generated electricity is the least-expensive resource PNM received through its request for proposals this year, Sponar said. The additional wind electricity will come from a wind farm near Grants that’s owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources.
PNM currently generates 22.5 MW of electricity from PNM-owned solar photovoltaic facilities. It’s now adding 21.5 MW of PV capacity that will come online this fall. And, it has 22 MW of solar PV that customers have installed on their homes and businesses.
PNM will also start receiving 10 MW of geothermal energy next year from a geothermal plant now under construction in Lordsburg.


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