PNM’s announcement makes gas even more expensive as San Juan replacement
Renewable energy would cost PNM customers $94 million less than gas-fired power plants
For immediate release: Monday, April 22, 2019
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter director, 505-715-8388, firstname.lastname@example.org
Albuquerque, NM – response to PNM’s Monday announcement that the power it provides New Mexico will be 100% carbon-free by 2040, the Sierra Club released the following statement:
“Today’s news makes the findings of the recent Sierra Club study more relevant, showing a mix of renewable energy, battery storage, and energy efficiency is more affordable than gas as replacement power for San Juan Generating Station. If PNM is going carbon-free five years earlier than required, it will have to build, pay off, and retire those new gas plants five years earlier, too. That means gas will be even more expensive for ratepayers.”
Camilla Feibelman, Director of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club.
In February, a Sierra Club study found a mix of renewable energy, battery storage, and energy efficiency is the lowest-cost option for Public Service Company of New Mexico to replace the electricity generated by San Juan Generating Station. San Juan is scheduled to close in 2022.
The analysis, conducted by Synapse Energy Economics, shows an all-clean-energy replacement is 1.5 percent less expensive through 2036 than replacing the power with new gas plants. In total, this combination of new clean energy can save PNM customers $94 million, and that doesn’t even account for cost savings resulting from improved public health and reduced pollution damages.
“Coal and gas have always been the most polluting energy sources, and as we have seen across the country, they now cost New Mexico families and businesses the most on electricity bills,” says Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Regional Director, Evan Gillespie. “Building new renewable-energy and battery-storage infrastructure is the most reliable and lowest-cost way to meet New Mexico’s electricity needs.”