Benefits of PNM-Avangrid merger include reduced carbon emissions, increased school connectivity - Albuquerque Journal

Benefits of PNM-Avangrid merger include reduced carbon emissions, increased school connectivity

From smartphones to smart homes and from household appliances to increasingly common electric vehicles, electricity powers our lives. Electricity also powers our economy. Dependable electric utility service is essential to attract and support the businesses and institutions that provide jobs, economic activity and tax revenues that fund public expenditures for vital investments in New Mexico’s communities.

That’s why we support the merger between the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and Avangrid. The benefits are obvious: The people of New Mexico will be served by an experienced electric utility with the financial resources to make vital investments in our power grid – the investments that we need to ensure that our economy can continue to grow and communities across the state can continue to thrive.

As our state and country work toward a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, it will also greatly benefit New Mexico to be served by a trailblazer in renewable energy. Across the country and around the world, Avangrid already provides solar and wind power to millions. As the devastating impacts of climate change become increasingly evident around the world, the PNM-Avangrid merger will help our state reach the ambitious goals set in the 2019 Energy Transition Act to increase the use of renewable energy.

As part of the merger deal, PNM and Avangrid have agreed to work aggressively toward reduction of carbon emissions, with clear benchmarks and timetables to monitor progress. The company will be required to present a plan, updated every six months, to show how it is working to reduce carbon emissions. Within a year after the deal is completed, the company will be required to present studies on infrastructure requirements resulting from electric vehicle demands, efforts needed to decarbonize commercial buildings over the next two decades and plans to reach 1.5% annual incremental energy efficiency savings.

PNM/Avangrid will also ensure all of these energy efficiency programs will be developed with an eye toward contracting with local New Mexico businesses wherever possible.

The economic benefits will be considerable. PNM/Avangrid has committed to creating 150 new jobs and maintaining them for at least five years, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in wages and economic activity. For at least three years, there will be no layoffs and no reduction in employee pay or benefits for the existing PNM workforce. Millions of dollars will be committed to economic development projects, including funding earmarked specifically for Indigenous community groups in the Four Corners region.

Some important benefits aren’t just about the dollars. PNM/Avangrid will provide local governments with access to streetlighting poles near schools and other facilities with limited internet service to make it easier to provide wireless internet access to students and others.

There are many more stipulations in the PNM/Avangrid merger that provide long-term support for our residents, our communities, and our economy – too many to detail here – but the bottom line is simple: The PNM/AVANGRID merger is a good deal for all of us in New Mexico.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Benefits of PNM-Avangrid merger include reduced carbon emissions, increased school connectivity


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