Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

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

The Public Service Company of New Mexico has asked the state Supreme Court to consider whether the Public Regulation Commission’s denial of its plan to abandon the Four Corners power plant was “arbitrary” and “capricious.”

PNM filed a 40-page document with the court on Friday, proposing numerous details the utility believes could force the court to overturn the commission’s decision. The filing is officially referred to as a “Statement of Issues”.

Last month, the commission unanimously rejected PNM’s plan to exit the Four Corners coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico by the end of 2024. The Commission mainly argued that PNM failed to identify replacement energy resources.

The commission also wanted to examine whether approximately $150 million in PNM capital expenditures at Four Corners made sense and whether clients should cover the long-term borrowings for those expenditures.

Some community and environmental groups opposed the plan because it did not address closing the plant. PNM planned to sell its 13 percent interest in Navajo Transitional Energy Co.

The commission’s hearing examiner, Anthony Medeiros, largely recommended approving the plan.

PNM suggests to the Supreme Court that the Commission misinterpreted the 2019 Energy Transition Act when it rejected the plan. The law encourages PNM to move away from coal-fired power plants and towards renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar. PNM sticks to its plan to comply with the law.

PNM also asks the court to examine whether the Commission acted “arbitrarily, haphazardly and unlawfully” with its judgment.

The commission also rejected PNM’s proposal last month to merge with Connecticut’s Avangrid and Spain’s Iberdrola. PNM has also appealed against this decision.

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