Impact statement: San Juan Mine could stay open until 2033

Impact statement: San Juan Mine could stay open until 2033

By Hannah Grover | Farmington Daily Times.

FARMINGTON — The San Juan Mine could continue to provide coal to the San Juan Generating Station, or another customer, until 2033.

The final environmental impact statement for the mine’s Deep Lease Extension recommends allowing up to 53 million tons of coal to be removed. That would allow the mine to supply coal to the power plant for at least another decade should it stay open past 2022.

The Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement released the final study Friday after years of work. A record of decision will be issued in April, according to a press release. The document and responses to public comments can be viewed online at

The final study evaluates three alternatives: keeping the mine open until 2033, closing the mine this year and keeping the mine open through 2022 when its coal supply contract with the power plant expires.

Keeping the mine open until 2033 would allow Westmoreland Coal Company to continue supplying coal to the power plant or to find a new customer if the power plant closes in 2022.

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San Juan Generating Station is NOT destined to shut down

San Juan Generating Station is NOT destined to shut down

It is ready for transformation into a global leadership facility for environmental stewardship

Farmington, NM – City of Farmington’s post Legislative Session path forward: The City of Farmington thanks the San Juan Legislative Delegation for its hard work this session. We are excited to convey that even the Speaker of the House of Representatives publicly acknowledged the dedication and commitment our legislators, our Mayor, and other officials have to our community in their fight to keep San Juan Generating Station open. The SJGS Carbon Capture Retrofit project is gaining momentum. The Project has received the support of the Department of Energy. DOE confirms that SJGS is in the top 10% of facilities nationwide that are ideally suited for this type of technology and that not only is the technology proven, it is also economically viable.

With carbon sequestration, about 90% of the CO2 is removed, which makes it one of the most low-carbon sources of electricity on the planet. Even with current technology, increased levels of renewable portfolio standards cannot meet customer demand up to two-thirds of the day. As a result, natural gas facilities are needed to provide back-up power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. With carbon sequestration technology, SJGS’s emissions levels are predicted to drop from 2182 CO2 lbs per MWh to 218 CO2 lbs per MWh. To put that into context, a natural gas-fired plant emits about 825 CO2 lbs per MWh; and wind or solar with natural gas back-up emits about 688 CO2 lbs per MWh. Given these numbers, carbon-sequestered coal not only becomes an extremely low-carbon source of electricity but also provides an economic source of baseload capacity that provides great benefit to grid resilience, stability and reliability.

Carbon Capture technology is also receiving national attention with the bi-partisan effort to pass the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technology Act, aka the USE IT Act. This Act will expand existing incentives to invest in and develop Carbon Capture technology: “Over and over, experts conclude that carbon capture and storage is essential for both rapid climate mitigation and economic growth… If the US wants to maintain its leadership and commercial edge, the USE IT act is cornerstone legislation.” – Julio Friedmann, CEO, Carbon Wrangler

As indicated repeatedly by the legislative sponsors of SB 489 and legislative leadership, passage of SB 489 does not close San Juan Generating Station. PNM has decided it no longer wants to produce electricity from SJGS. Based on the contracts that have been in place for the last 35 years between all of the owners of SJGS, once PNM and the other owners abandon their interests in SJGS, the ability to own and operate the plant transfers to the City of Farmington as the last remaining owner

SB 489 also places new emissions limitations only on SJGS and specifies that the date of compliance of the new limitations is January 1, 2023 – the same date the legislation specifies that PNM will abandon SJGS. While the carbon capture project will bring SJGS into compliance on the new emissions, the date of compliance represents a hurdle that will need to be overcome. Speaker Egolf and other legislative leadership have indicated that an existing variance procedure is available to assist with this challenge. They have also encouraged the City to come back next year with more information on the project and have indicated if the Project is demonstrated to be viable, they will help make sure the project has a reasonable timeframe within which to be completed. Next steps: continued negotiations with current owners of SJGS and prospective future owners to make this transition a success. Additionally, a feasibility study is being launched and the City and our partners Acme Equity LLC are excited to take the next steps to make the project a success.

Media Contact:
Georgette Allen
(505) 320-9757


SB489 on Tipping Point New Mexico Podcast

SB489 on Tipping Point New Mexico Podcast

Attorney and utility expert Germaine Chappelle returns to the Rio Grande Foundation’s Tipping Point New Mexico Podcast to discuss SB 489 the Energy Transition Act. This legislation just passed the New Mexico Senate (although it had not when we recorded earlier in the week) and it would mandate 50% of all electricity generated in New Mexico be “renewable.” The bill would also shut down the San Juan Generating Station in the Four Corners area.

Chappelle has spent decades working on utility regulation issues and shares some of her in-depth knowledge of the issue and how it will impact New Mexicans at large and those in the Four Corners who would be most impacted.

Latest on CO2  Capture Technology 2018

Latest on CO2 Capture Technology 2018

MHI Engineering, Ltd., an MHI Group company

based in Yokohama, provides technology,

engineering, and execution for global infrastructure projects including

  • Ammonia & Urea plants
  • Methanol Plants
  • Acrylic Acid Plants
  • Polyethylene Plants
  • LNG Receiving Terminals & Tanks
  • Flue Gas CO2 Capture          

This company’s technology is proposed to be used for carbon capture and sequestration project for the San Juan Generating Station.5-Fowler-MHIA-Latest-on-CO2-Capture-Technology-Dec-2018

Economic Impact of San Juan Generating Station

Economic Impact of San Juan Generating Station

Highlights of a study commissioned by Four Corners Economic Development shows the impact of the San Juan Generating Station and San Juan Coal Company on local communities, the State of New Mexico, and the Federal Government.  If the San Juan Generating Station is not allowed to operate, the negative impact on local communities will be profound.


Impact Highlights 5 15 17

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