PNM turns July 9 public meeting on San Juan Generating Station into employee-only session
As renewable energy and natural gas costs decline, it's harder to justify coal energy. Many utilities also are closing coal-generation plants in Indiana and elsewhere. Wochit
FARMINGTON — A July 9 meeting at San Juan College billed earlier this month as a public outreach session on the utility's plans for closing the San Juan Generating Station was changed on July 8 to an employee-only gathering.
These outreach meetings were intended to answer questions people might have about the utility’s plan to close the San Juan Generating Station and replace the electricity from the coal-fired power plant with power from a natural gas plant in San Juan County.
PNM spokesperson Raymond Sandoval called The Daily Times on July 8 and said the company had miscommunicated about the July 9 meeting.
Sandoval said the July 9 meeting would be employee-only out of respect for the people who work at the San Juan Generating Station.
In a press conference on July 1, Public Service Company of New Mexico announced it would have two outreach meetings — one on July 9 at San Juan College and the other on July 18 in Albuquerque.
People who had planned on attending the meeting on July 9 reported that it had been moved to the power plant.
The utility also updated its website, pnmforwardtogether.com, from just listing the July 9 and July 18 meetings to specify that the July 9 meeting was employee-only, and to state that a third meeting would be on July 30 in San Juan County. The meeting will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at San Juan College, according to Sandoval.
The meeting was scheduled after PNM filed documents with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to abandon the power plant in 2022 and replace the electricity with natural gas and solar.
The PRC is scheduled to discuss the filing during its meeting that starts at 9:30 a.m. July 10 in Santa Fe. The meeting can be viewed online at nmprc.state.nm.us.
Meanwhile, the potential buyer for the San Juan Generating Station — Enchant Energy — released a copy of a carbon capture pre-feasibility study online on July 8.
The study estimates it would cost $1.3 billion, which could be recovered through tax credits. The pre-feasibility report can be viewed at enchantenergy.com.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.
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