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FARMINGTON – The City of Farmington announced Friday night that it entered into an agency agreement with New York-based Acme Equities LLC that allows the firm to negotiate a purchase agreement with other owners of the San Juan Generating Station.

The city previously inked a letter of intent with that investment firm, which hopes to run the power plant and its coal mine past the 2022 deadline set by regional power giant Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to shut down and abandon the plant.

PNM, the majority owner, is moving forward with plans to shutter the facility by that date. In an ad campaign PNM has stated it will shut the plant and replace its power with power generated by other resources than coal.

Farmington officials believe the other owners have an obligation to transfer ownership to the city. PNM, meanwhile, has stated that it is working with the other owners to achieve a shutdown.

“According to the owners agreement, all exiting owners have an obligation to negotiate in good faith and convey their interest in the plant at no cost,” the release from the City of Farmington stated.

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett sees the new agreement with Acme Equities LLC as the next step in the right direction.

"We are very pleased to see this process formally advancing and gaining significant momentum,” Duckett said in the Friday night press release.

City Manager Rob Mayes was likewise optimistic.

"We have an incredible opportunity to save 1,600 jobs and reduce CO2 emissions at SJGS by 90 percent through the proposed installation of proven carbon capture technology,” Mayes said in the release. “This would make SJGS cleaner than wind generation that requires natural gas backup.”

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com.

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