Utility plans to pull out of power plant by end of 2022



AZTEC —The city of Farmington and San Juan County have decided to intervene in the Public Service Company of New Mexico's Integrated Resource Plan case.

Both the City Council and the County Commission met in closed executive session during their meetings Tuesday to discuss intervening.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is hearing arguments in the case. State legislators who represent San Juan County intervened in the case earlier this year.

The integrated resource plan calls for PNM pulling out of the San Juan Generating Station at the end of 2022 and being coal free by 2031.

The local governments are concerned about the economic impact PNM's plan will have on the area. PNM is the majority owner of the San Juan Generating Station. The integrated resource plan could mean the coal-fired power plant would close in 2022.

The four-unit generating station has nine owners. The city of Farmington owns 8.5 percent of the shares in unit four. Two of the owners — M-S-R Public Power Company and the city of Anaheim, Calif. — are required by California law to divest from coal power. The California utilities plan on exiting the San Juan Generating Station by the beginning of next year.

The M-S-R Public Power Company filed a motion to intervene in the PNM case last week.

During his annual report about the assessor's office during the Tuesday meeting, County Assessor Jimmy Voita discussed the property taxes that PNM pays. Voita said about 10.8 percent of the property tax base for the county comes from PNM and the San Juan Mine, which supplies the generating station with coal.

While the integrated resource plan could mean the plant closes in 2022, the local area will start seeing the impact of the retirement of two units at the generating station at the end of this year.

A 2012 agreement between PNM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called for closing units two and three at the end of this year.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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