Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PNM boosting wind and solar power in 2014, 2015

PNM is notifying state regulators that it plans to increase the solar photovoltaic power it owns by 30 percent next year and to increase the wind generation on its system by 50 percent in 2015.
“We propose to make significant additions to the renewable resources already in our energy supply in a way that balances the environment with reliability and cost,” said Gerard Ortiz, PNM vice president of regulatory affairs, in a statement.
PNM’s renewable resource additions include:
– Building 23 megawatts of solar PV in 2014 mounted on tracking structures that follow the sun, bringing to 67 megawatts the total amount of company-owned solar PV. Three new solar power centers would likely be built in and around the greater Albuquerque metro area.
– Buying wind energy produced by the 102.4-megawatt Red Mesa Wind Energy Center starting Jan. 1, 2015. The center — 50 miles west of Albuquerque in Cibola County — is owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources.
PNM said that by 2015 its wind, solar and geothermal resources will provide the equivalent amount of energy to power approximately 132,000 homes.
“This renewable energy proposal is one of several separate steps that, taken together, mean a transition in the way we generate power. We also have an agreement to close two units at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station by the end of 2017 and energy efficiency programs that reduce water use and emissions by helping customers save on energy and energy bills,” Ortiz said.