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Enchant Energy CEO says 2021 about pushing San Juan Generating Station project over finish line

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC — With less than two years before Public Service Company of New Mexico ceases its operation of the San Juan Generating Station, Enchant Energy has a long to-do list to ensure the project can be successful.

PNM plans to end its operation of the power plant on June 30, 2022.

Enchant Energy CEO Cindy Crane said this year will be about pushing the project over the finish line. She highlighted some of those goals during a San Juan County Commission meeting this week that can be viewed on YouTube.

That to-do list includes finishing the front-end engineering design study and completing negotiations with the current power plant owners for transferring ownership to the City of Farmington.

Enchant Energy must also finalize agreements for selling the electricity and carbon dioxide from the San Juan Generating Station as well as transport and storage agreements.

Additionally, this year Enchant Energy must finalize a coal-supply agreement with Westmoreland Mining to purchase coal from the San Juan Mine.

The San Juan Generating Station is pictured, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, from the San Juan Mine.

Other milestones that Enchant Energy is working to meet this year include permitting for both the carbon capture island and the sequestration wells as well as initiating a request for proposals process to find a plant operator.

Enchant Energy and Farmington Electric Utility System officials say they are hopeful the San Juan Generating Station will be able to continue to operate while crews work on the carbon capture retrofit.

“We want the employees to leave on that day on June 30, (2022), and come in with new stickers on their hardhats the very next day,” said FEUS Director Hank Adair.

MORE:New report highlights economic benefits of carbon capture retrofit of San Juan power plant

While Crane and Adair say the retrofit can be completed without interfering with daily operations, the San Juan Generating Station will be unable to meet state emissions limits that go into effect in 2023. The carbon capture retrofit will allow the power plant to meet those requirements, but that technology will not come online before the new emissions limits go into effect. 

The carbon capture retrofit is anticipated to be completed in 2024.

Enchant Energy and Farmington have expressed hope that the state will allow the power plant to continue operations post-2023. That will allow the plant to only have a short outage to tie in the carbon capture island with the rest of the operation.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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