Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Socorro explores setting up its own electric utility

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The city of Socorro is exploring the possibility of setting up its own electric utility.

According to a story in the El Defensor Chieftain, the Socorro City Council earlier this week approved a resolution to commission a feasibility study exploring the possibility of separating from the Socorro Electric Co-op.

The resolution, according to the document, will “assist in the development of a community and industrial park that is economically competitive with areas throughout New Mexico and which will be able to offer a price structure and stability found in other communities in regard to electric services…”

The study will cost the city an estimated $30,000, according to Mayor Ravi Bhasker.

The decision comes on the coattails of a study by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic commissioned by the city last year, which found that the average Socorro household could save $755.90 per year, including $182.16 in direct savings from lower residential electricity bills and an additional $476.90 in indirect savings passed on by commercial and industrial users who would pay lower electricity costs.

Finding a way to lower commercial and industrial electricity costs to aid in the city’s economic development is a large part of the council’s plan. According to the resolution, the the Co-op has had “a negative impact on the ability of this community to fully realize the economic potential of the area…”

“We’re in a position where we need to start exploring as many options as we can,” Councilman Michael Olguin Jr. told the council. “Hopefully we can be in a position sooner rather than later to begin attracting new businesses with our industrial park.”

Bhasker said he wanted an unbiased, third-party contractor to conduct the upcoming feasibility study.

“This is not the city of Socorro doing the study,” he said “We will contract with a vendor to do the study.”