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Renewable Energy

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and Renewable Energy in New Mexico 

The Public Regulation Commission reviews and approves renewable energy procurement plans and reports of Investor Owned Utilities ("IOU’s") and Rural Electric Cooperatives ("Coops") pursuant to the Renewable Energy Act ("REA"), §§ 62-16-1 et seq. NMSA 1978 and Title 17.9.572 NMAC ("Rule 572"). IOU’s in New Mexico are procuring renewable energy and renewable energy certificates from New Mexico renewable generation facilities to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements of the REA and Rule 572.

 

Investor Owned Utilities and the RPS

The REA and Rule 572 established an RPS applicable to all investor owned electric utilities in New Mexico. In 2006, the RPS will be 5% of retail sales in kWh’s, reaching 10% by the year 2011.  Recent legislative changes to the REA (SB418, signed March 5, 2007 by Governor Bill Richardson) have increased the RPS percentages and extended the time lines - IOU’s now must have in their portfolio as a percentage of total retail sales to New Mexico customers, renewable energy of no less than 15% (by 2015) and 20% (by 2020).

 

Resource Diversity and the RPS
In addition to the RPS, Rule 572 requires that IOU’s must offer a voluntary renewable energy program to their customers. In addition to and within the total portfolio percentage requirements, utilities must design their public utility procurement plans to achieve a fully diversified renewable energy portfolio as follows:
Diversity requirements for IOU’s as % of total RPS requirement:
No less than 30% Wind
No less than 20% Solar
No less than 5% Other technologies
No less than 1.5% Distributed Generation (2011-2014) and 3% Distributed Generation by 2015

 

Reasonable Cost Threshold
A public utility shall not be required to add renewable energy to its electric energy supply portfolio, pursuant to the renewable portfolio standard, above the reasonable cost threshold established by the Commission. The reasonable cost threshold in any plan year is 3% of plan year total revenues, beginning in 2013.

 

Rural Electric Cooperatives and the RPS

The recent changes to the REA also included expanding the RPS requirements to rural electric cooperatives. Renewable energy must comprise of no less than 5% of retail sales to New Mexico customers by 2015 and the RPS will increase at a rate of 1% annually until 2020, at which time the RPS will be 10%. In addition to the RPS, Rule 572 also requires that Coops must offer a voluntary renewable energy program to their customers provided their supplier makes renewable resources available.

 

RPS Compliance

2006 is the first compliance year for New Mexico IOU’s, meaning that IOU’s must demonstrate they have met the RPS requirements in their Renewable Energy Portfolio Reports to the Public Regulation Commission. These reports must be filed with the Public Regulation Commission by July 1 of each year. Compliance estimates by technology type are shown below:

2011 Retail Sales RPS RPS Obligation Generated Year=2011
(Actual) Total Wind Solar Biomass
(MWh) % (MWh) (MWh)
PNM              
SPS              
EPE              
2010 Retail Sales RPS RPS Obligation Generated Year=2010
(Actual) Total Wind Solar Biomass
(MWh) % (MWh) (MWh)
PNM 9,090,828 6 497,915 565,829 552,242 13,587 -
SPS 4,366,190 6 261,971 739,488 739,243 245 -
EPE 1,646,976 6 98,819 102,791 96,323 1,001 5,467
2009 Retail Sales RPS RPS Obligation Generated Year=2009
(Actual) Total Wind Solar Biomass
(MWh) % (MWh) (MWh)
PNM 8,867,533 6 509,103 539,821 533,289 6,532 -
SPS 4,116,931 6 247,016 642,593 642,584 9 -
EPE 1,602,769 6 96,166 126,642 85,802 24,942 15,898
2008 Retail Sales RPS RPS Obligation Generated Year=2008
(Actual) Total Wind Solar Biomass
(MWh) % (MWh) (MWh)
PNM 9,162,354 6 503,401 581,179 577,506 3,673 -
SPS 4,168,103 6 250,086 768,677 768,677 - -
EPE 1,594,493 6 95,670 121,788 89,789 22,894 9,105
2007 Retail Sales RPS RPS Obligation Generated Year=2007
(Actual) Total Wind Solar Biomass
(MWh) % (MWh) (MWh)
PNM 8,726,294 6 502,755 502,321 500,560 1,760 -
SPS 4,106,037 6 246,362 687,911 687,911 - -
EPE 1,596,870 6 95,812 97,290 97,290 - -
2006 Retail Sales RPS RPS Obligation Generated Year=2006
(Actual) Total Wind Solar Biomass
(MWh) % (MWh) (MWh)
PNM 7,933,552 5 373,162 528,944 528,626 171 -
SPS 3,883,263 5 194,163 724,660 724,660 - -
EPE 1,537,449 5 76,872 78,320 78,320 - -

 

Sources: EPE, PNM, SPS Rule 572 Compliance Filings, Annual Reports - Form 1. 
Note: EPE purchased all wind RECs from PNM to meet the full RPS requirement for years 2006 and 2007.

 

Renewable Energy Certificate Tracking

The acquisition, sale or transfer, and retirement of any renewable energy certificates used to meet renewable portfolio standards on or after January 1, 2008 must be registered with the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS).  WREGIS is the Western Governors’s Association’s independent regional tracking system to provide data necessary to substantiate and support verification and tracking of renewable energy generation.

 

Annual Renewable Energy Portfolio Procurement Plans

Public utilities (IOU's) must file with the Commission an annual portfolio procurement plan on July 1 each year. Rural Electric Distribution Cooperatives must file with the Commission by March 1 of each year, a report on its purchases and generation of renewable energy during the preceding calendar year. Rural Electric Distribution Cooperatives must also report to their membership, a summary of its purchases and generation of renewable energy during the preceding calendar year. Renewable energy plans and reports that public utilities file with the Public Regulation Commission are also required to be made available on the utility’s website. Below are links to the utility website where the most recently filed renewable energy plans and report documents are made available.

Renewable Energy Capacity in New Mexico 
New Mexico has several utility scale renewable generation facilities. Below is a list of utility scale facilities in New Mexico. For an interactive map of all facilities and projects in the west see InterWest Energy Alliance’s Project Locator Map.

 

FACILITY  Resource Type CAPACITY
(MW)*
POWER PURCHASER **  
Albuquerque Solar Energy Center Solar 2 Public Service Company of New Mexico click for larger image
Los Lunas Solar Energy Center Solar 5 Public Service Company of New Mexico
Deming Solar Energy Center Solar 5 Public Service Company of New Mexico
Alamogordo Solar Energy Center Solar 5 Public Service Company of New Mexico
Las Vegas Solar Energy Center Solar 5 Public Service Company of New Mexico
San Juan Mesa Project Wind 120 Xcel Energy
New Mexico Wind Energy Center (NMWEC) Wind 204 Public Service Company of New Mexico
Llano Estacado Wind Ranch(Clovis) Wind 1.32 Xcel Energy
Curry County (Llano Estacado Wind Ranch (Texico) Wind 0.66 Xcel Energy
Caprock Wind Ranch Wind 80 Xcel Energy
High Lonesome Mesa Wind 100 Arizona Public Service Company 
Southwest Public Service (N of Clovis) Wind 0.66 Southwest Public Service
Argonne Mesa (not mapped) Wind  90 Arizona Public Service Company 

* Nameplate capacity.** Not all facilities listed have energy contracted by NM IOU’s for compliance with the RPS and the list is not necessarily exhaustive of all projects.

 

Other Renewable Energy Programs
While IOU’s are complying with the RPS through primarily power purchases from non-utility or independent power producers ("IPP’s"), there are other programs that purchase REC’s from customer sited photovoltaic installations of 10kW or less. One such program is PNM’s Small PV Program

Voluntary (Green Power) Programs 

Investor Owned Utilities 
As required by Rule 572, IOU’s must offer a voluntary renewable energy program to their customers. New Mexico’s three IOU’s programs are listed in the table below with links to their program websites. 

IOU Program Title Energy Sources Price per 100 kWh Block
El Paso Electric (EPE) Renewable Energy Program Wind and solar $2.28 (Residential)
Public Service Company of NM (PNM) Sky Blue Wind $1.69
Southwestern Public Service (SPS) Windsource Wind $3.00 (minus fuel cost)

 

Voluntary program data for 2006 and 2007 are shown below.

IOU Voluntary Program Title 2006 MWh 2007 MWh Technology/Facility Source
PNM Sky Blue 67,035 124,697 Wind/New Mexico Wind Energy Center
SPS Windsource 8,404 16,413 Wind/Llano Estacado (Texico)/Caprock
EPE Renewable Energy Program 581 1,037 Wind/Hueco Mountain Wind Ranch (Texas)

 

click for larger image

Source: IOU compliance filings to the Public Regulation Commission for 2006 and 2007.

 

Rural Electric Cooperatives 
As required by Rule 572, Coops must offer a voluntary renewable program to their customers to the extent that their energy suppliers make such renewable resources available. Sales for 2005 are shown below for 2005. For a website listing of the New Mexico cooperatives see theNew Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s website. Currently Tri-State Generation & Transmission supplies energy to most New Mexico Coops, as well as green power for the Coops voluntary programs. Current rates for green power sold through Tri-State’s Renewable Energy Program are $1.25 per 100 kWh block. Check with the individual cooperative for program details.

 

COOP RULE 572

Source: COOP Rule 572 compliance filings to the Public Regulation Commission for 2006 and 2007.

 

Links and Resources 
For more information regarding the technologies, environmental initiatives, Federal and other regional programs to promote and support renewable energy technology and markets, please see the following links:




 
 
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