The City of Farmington and the people of San Juan County have found a win-win solution for the San Juan Generating Station that will make many of the costly and complex provisions in Senate Bill 489 unnecessary.
The City of Farmington currently holds the right to market the San Juan Generating Station to third-party buyers and is working with a buyer of the plant to:
• Purchase and operate the San Juan Generating Station
• Invest in advanced, proven carbon capture technology that will place the plant’s long-term CO2 emissions below the level of replacement solar generation with backup natural gas generation facilities
• Co-locate solar facilities near the plant to take advantage of existing transmission and switching equipment to further reduce the cost of transitioning to renewable energy
Advantages of this plan over the existing proposal contemplated by Senate Bill 489:
• Ratepayers in PNM’s service territory (primarily in Albuquerque and Santa Fe) will not have to fund transition costs in the $50 million-dollar range for worker transition and redevelopment costs in San Juan County.
• PNM will have more flexibility in the timing and implementation of replacement power development which will support an even lower cost transition for ratepayers.
• High paying jobs at San Juan Generating Station, Westmoreland Coal Mine and supporting contractors will be maintained.
• Property tax revenues currently supporting the Central Consolidated School District, San Juan College and San Juan County will be maintained. Maintaining these revenues will also avoid both massive property tax increases for area residents as well as the need for the State of New Mexico to guarantee CCSD’s $37 million bonds.
• State tax revenues in that amount of at least $50 million
All of these benefits can be achieved while still protecting the environment.