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    PNM appeals rejection of Four Corners coal plant pullout to state Supreme Court


    January 22, 2022 - Rick Ruggles, The Santa Fe New Mexican

     

      Jan. 22—Public Service Company of New Mexico has asked the state Supreme Court to consider whether the Public Regulation Commission's rejection of its plan to leave the Four Corners Power Plant was "arbitrary" and "capricious."

      PNM filed a 40-page document with the court Friday, suggesting numerous specifics the utility company thinks could compel the court to overturn the commission's decision. The filing is formally called a "statement of issues."

      Last month, the commission unanimously rejected PNM's plan for leaving the coal-burning Four Corners plant in northwestern New Mexico at the end of 2024. The commission primarily argued PNM had failed to identify replacement energy resources.

      The commission also wanted to review whether roughly $150 million in PNM capital expenses at Four Corners was wise and whether customers should have to cover the long-term bonds for those expenses.

      Some community and environmental groups argued against the plan because it didn't address closure of the plant. PNM planned to turn its 13 percent share over to Navajo Transitional Energy Co.

      The commission's hearing examiner, Anthony Medeiros, for the most part recommended approval of the plan.

      PNM suggests to the high court the commission misinterpreted the 2019 Energy Transition Act when it rejected the plan. The act encourages PNM to leave coal-burning plants and to adopt renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar. PNM maintains its plan adheres to the act.

      PNM also asks the court to consider if the commission acted "arbitrarily, capriciously and contrary to law" with its ruling.

      The commission also rejected PNM's proposal to merge with Avangrid of Connecticut and Iberdrola of Spain last month. PNM has appealed that decision as well.

      ___

      (c)2022 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)

      Visit The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.) at www.santafenewmexican.com

      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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