SB 360- Forcing PNM to Consider Renewables

coal pollutionSB360: Procurement of New Power Generation Resources by Investor-owned Electric Public Utilities; Request for Competitive Proposals and Independent Evaluator Process.SB 360 is an excellent piece of legislation albeit 20 years late. States all across the Midwest had such bills requiring regulated utilities to go through an RFP process for new generation beginning in the late 1990’s. Normally, the utility would provide its own plan which would be selected, especially in NM with a PRC that has cowed to the wishes of PNM repeatedly.  But the benefit to consumers from this process is that:

  • Bids would be heard from others offering energy comprised of far higher proportions of renewables thus exposing PNM as favoring coal and nuclear when other cheaper, more environmentally sound alternatives are available; and
  • In 2018 when we oust Sandy Jones from District 5, the PRC will have a 3-2 majority of Commissioners supportive of renewables. In that context, the RFP process will be important as the PRC could select an alternative to PNMs coal/nuclear-laden energy portfolio. Jones won by only 28 votes in 2014 and replacing him with a pro renewable energy Commissioner will be one of our highest priorities.

In sum, the bill will make the PRC seek other bids for providing future energy needs, bids that will expose PNMs plans as more costly and less environmentally sound. With a PRC comprised of Commissioners for whom that matters, PNM will be forced to offer New Mexicans a more balanced energy portfolio comprised of far more wind and solar and far less coal and nuclear.