PRC eases renewable energy rules

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 11:50 pm

In a split vote Wednesday, New Mexico utility regulators approved changes to the state’s renewable energy rule, infuriating advocates who say the decision will hurt a blossoming solar industry.

The state Public Regulation Commission altered a rule that commissioners had approved less than a year ago. It dictates how much solar, wind and other renewable energy sources utilities can add to their portfolios without costing customers an exorbitant amount of money. Hidden in the rule’s technicalities are factors affecting how the costs and benefits of renewable energy stack up against nonrenewable, less clean sources of electricity, such as coal and natural gas.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Joe Savoldi posted at 6:38 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    joesavoldi Posts: 24

    Love it....Finally regulators are moving toward the real world and away from fantasy land of wind and solar. Let the market determine the source of electric energy.

  • Evan Byers posted at 2:16 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    ebyers10 Posts: 5

    The article also notes that the only industry that yesterday’s decision didn’t impact is NM’s wind industry.

    It just so happens that about 80% of NM’s wind installations are located in Commissioner Patrick Lyon’s district (see: http://www.awea.org/Resources/state.aspx?ItemNumber=5197).

  • Evan Byers posted at 9:44 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    ebyers10 Posts: 5

    One of the three voting to approve this is Commissioner Theresa Becenti-Aguilar.

    From the NM PRC website (http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us):

    "Theresa Becenti-Aguilar is a proud member of the Navajo Nation."

    She was originally appointed by Gov. Richardson in 2010.

    She represents District 4, which includes the four corners area.

    Now read this article that appeared in the New Mexican: "Navajo Nation signs documents to acquire coal mine" (http://bit.ly/1cunlTm)

    "The tribe formed Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC earlier this year to look into buying the Navajo Mine near Farmington, which produces up to 8.5 million tons of coal annually. It is the sole provider of coal to the nearby Four Corners Power Plant, which provides electricity to about 300,000 households in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas."

  • Peter Fessenden posted at 9:12 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Peter Fessenden Posts: 4

    Shame on the PRC. The 3 voting for this change should be recalled, as they obviously are not for New Mexicans!

  • Joseph Hempfling posted at 8:46 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    joehempfling Posts: 591

    Definitely a move in the WRONG direction, in my opinion and showing that New Mexico and the PRC are still very much in the pockets of Big Money i.e. the dying fossil fuel Industry and despite all the science and sound arguments (look at Germany) refuse to smell the coffee ! and we all get to ENJOY and PAYFOR the ever rising prices, the pollution of our environment and the ignorance and political stuborness
    of our so-called elected officials ! Time to Wake Up and smell the coffee folks !

  • John McAndrew posted at 7:58 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    John McAndrew Posts: 44

    The people of the Philippines have been decrying, since Typhoon Haiyan, rich countries' failures to make any meaningful effort to meet their stated GHG reduction goals.

    According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's state scorecard for New Mexico,

    "New Mexico earned 7 [out of 20] points for its utility policies
    and programs. Utilities administer both electricity
    and natural gas efficiency programs, but achieve
    below-average savings. The state has an energy
    efficiency resource standard that sets long-term
    targets for electricity savings, although these targets
    were recently lowered. Performance incentives are
    available to utilities based on energy savings."

    That was written before the PRC lowered our targets AGAIN. Germany is 12% larger in area than New Mexico, and a long ways farther north, yet provides solar-generated electricity for 40 million people. Our state could be the Saudi Arabia of solar power, or the renewable version of Alaska, which pays its residents every year for the power generated there. Instead, we cater to early 20th century power interests that pollute our environment. The PRC would apparently like New Mexico's motto to be, "Why lead when we get by with lowering our standards?"

  • Philip Taccetta posted at 7:43 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    PhiltheElder Posts: 434

    This is not the time for weakening renewable requirements for the benefit of PNM. Short sighted and ill advised.


Follow The Santa Fe New Mexican

Click to read the digital edition of Pasatiempo

View an exact replica of the latest edition of Pasatiempo magazine.