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Public hearing on San Juan Generating Station scheduled

Community members encouraged to submit comment
Dozens of people rallied in 2015 outside the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in Santa Fe, N.M., when it heard a proposal to shut down part of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station.

FARMINGTON – Four Corners community members wishing to weigh-in on the future of the San Juan Generating Station will have an opportunity to provide public comment Monday.

Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, chairwoman of New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission, scheduled a public meeting in Farmington to hear input from community members as the commission considers the Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s (PNM) application to close the plant.

The utility commission is reviewing the company’s plan to replace the lost energy capacity with a combination of natural gas and renewable sources like wind, solar and battery storage. The plan put forward by PNM proposes a natural gas plant near the current San Juan Generating Station and cost-effective renewable energy sources.

The commission is reviewing whether New Mexico’s new energy transition law would apply to PNM’s proposal and if the owners of the plant are allowed to refinance and recover part of its investments through low-interest bonds to be paid off by utility customers.

The plan, if accepted by the PRC under the recent energy transition law, would also include $40 million in funding to the community for workforce re-training and economic assistance to Farmington and San Juan County.

Despite requests from both sides, the state Supreme Court has declined to take up a case to determine who has constitutional authority in determining whether the Energy Transition Act applies to PNM’s plant closure application.

The public hearing will begin at 4 p.m. Monday at San Juan College in the Henderson Fine Arts Building, room 9008. People wishing to speak will each have three minutes, according to the PRC. Those who cannot make the hearing are encouraged to provide written comments referencing case number 19-00018-UT, and mailed to the PRC at P.O. Box 1269, Santa Fe, NM 87504.


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