New Mexico regulatory staff seeks hearing on utility merger – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico 2021-05-08 12:20:50 –

Some critics are Connecticut-based Avangrid and Public Service Co, New Mexico. The proposed agreement with its parent company, PNM Resources, states that it is not sufficiently advanced in terms of customer interests and funding to support the state’s economic development.

PNM and Avangrid announced a concession in April after the initial proposal failed to get the support it needed. The latest proposals include $ 50 million in fee credits to customers, $ 7.5 million in economic development donations, additional funding to support energy efficiency for low-income customers over a five-year period, and more work by 2035. Includes a promise to be carbon-free.

It also includes $ 12.5 million for organizations in northwestern New Mexico. Here, the planned closures of two coal-fired power plants over the next few years are expected to have significant economic implications for workers, tax revenues, and the community as a whole.

The Commission’s utility staff said more testimony would need to be submitted to hold a hearing on the proposed agreement, which would delay the case. They also said the proposal was agreed by less than half of the parties and “reflected a fairly narrow range of interests.”

PNM is aiming for carbon-free power generation over the next 20 years, making it a hook for large capital investments. Experts say Avangrid’s credit status and access to capital markets could benefit utilities from the merger. Avangrid, meanwhile, wants to build assets within the US utility sector.

This week, Texas utility regulators approved a merger related to a subsidiary of PNM Resources, which serves customers in the state.

Pat Vincent-Collawn, Chairman, President and CEO of PNM Resources, pointed to Texas approval as confirmation that the merger was in the public interest.

PNM and Avangrid advertised the merger as a way to boost renewable energy in New Mexico. Nonetheless, officials of the Public Regulatory Commission have stated that the currently structured merger is likely to “cool the competitive environment” for the state’s renewable energy development, and have stated its reservation.

It is up to the hearing examiner to decide whether to schedule a hearing on the merger application next week or consider the proposed agreement.

(Copyright 2021 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

New Mexico regulatory staff seeks hearing on utility merger Source link New Mexico regulatory staff seeks hearing on utility merger

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