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New Mexico Attorney General puts Public Regulation Commission on notice

San Juan Generating Station
San Juan Generating Station

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderes has informed the Public Regulation Commission that his office will examine their decision and policies after the Public Service Company of New Mexico or PNM warned last week that its customers could experience rolling blackouts this summer.

According to a report by the Albuquerque Journal, PNM said it won’t have enough generating capacity on its system to meet peak demand in July and August, when most of their customers will be blasting their air conditioners to deal with the summer heat.

This is due in part to four solar plants being built by contract developers to replace power coming from the coal-fired San Juan Generating System not being ready in time.

PNM was planning to abandon the coal plant on June 30th. The delay in the construction of the four solar plants is linked to global supply problems caused by the pandemic, but PNM also says the Public Regulation Commission delayed originally approving new solar power contracts, this led to the construction time crunch that now exists.

As the state official tasked with protecting consumer interests, Baldres is disturbed at what appears to be adverse decisions and lack of prompt action by the PRC.

Baldres said his office is now evaluating the proper legal path to investigate the commission's recent actions, while also considering the emergency measures to deal with the looming summer energy crisis.