PNM details its path to carbon-free electricity in most recent Integrated Resource Plan

Credit: PNM

The utility says it is the first in the U.S. to provide a detailed plan for 100-percent emission free energy by 2040

By recently submitting its 2020-2040 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), PNM said it became the first energy company in the nation to provide a detailed plan on how it will transform its electric generation to 100-percent emissions-free by 2040. 

The PNM IRP runs parallel with the company’s sustainability goals and aligns with its commitment to provide 100-percent emissions-free power to its more than half a million customers.

The IRP process examined New Mexico’s energy needs and identified how the utility will deliver electricity to New Mexico. The plan represents more than a year of extensive collaboration between PNM, its customers, local advocates, and environmental, business and community organizations, said PNM. 

As stakeholders considered New Mexico’s energy future, PNM asked that everyone uphold four key elements to guide them through the process: 1) does the plan keep the lights on for PNM customers, 2) is the plan affordable and does it minimize costs for PNM customers, 3) does the plan mitigate environmental impacts on the state, and 4) does the plan meet all regulatory requirements. 

PNM took the valuable dialogue during the IRP public meetings to develop a twenty-year roadmap and a four-year action plan that defines the steps PNM will take to achieve an emissions-free energy future. Through this plan, PNM customers, who currently receive electricity from 44-percent carbon-free resources, will see that percentage move to 65-percent by 2022 and 80-percent by 2025. 

Over the next 4 years, PNM will do the following:

Pursue abandonment and replacement of outstanding PVNGS lease interest and FCPP

  • File for abandonment of the 114 MW of PVNGS leases and approval of replacement resources consistent with the identified MCEP paths.
  • Issue an RFP for new capacity deliverable in 2025 to replace the FCPP capacity and file for approval of replacement resources by January 2022.

Complete annual filings for renewables and demand-side resources as required by the Commission

  • Continue to develop and implement cost effective energy efficiency and demand management programs and file plans with the Commission.
  • File Annual Renewable Energy Procurement Plans to demonstrate compliance with the RPS and request approval of new resources if needed.

Explore cost-effective options to maintain system supply and reliability

  • Develop energy storage as a capacity resource and monitor its real-world performance in a resource adequacy context to better understand risks.
  • Limit consideration of combustion-based resources to those that can be easily repurposed or retrofit to operate using carbon-free fuels, including hydrogen and renewable fuels.
  • Continue to assess regional market depth and liquidity impact on resource planning decisions.
  • Transition to the industry standard loss of load expectation of 0.1 days per year (“one day in ten years”) to maintain best practices in reliability planning for our system.
  • Explore rate design approaches that reflect customer use and load needs and evaluate energy efficiency and DSM program opportunities under the Efficient Use of Energy Act.

Continue to monitor and explore opportunities to advance transition to a carbon-free portfolio

  • Monitor landscape of emerging technologies that could contribute to carbon-free goals, including generation resources, storage, and clean fuels.
  • Utilize PNM’s Wired for the Future program to pursue opportunities to modernize the grid and invest in transmission that supports the transition towards a carbon free system.
  • Implement PNM’s Transportation Electrification Program upon approval by the Commission.
  • Assess potential load increases from economic development activities in PNM’s service areas, in cooperation with state and local entities.

Conduct the 2023-2042 Integrated Resource Plan

  • Address the implications of the expiration of supply contracts and any retiring resources.
  • Consider the impacts of participation in the CAISO Energy Imbalance Market on our resource planning process and decisions.
  • Apply co-optimization to generation, storage, and transmission as identified in this report to enhance coordinated planning efforts.
  • Work with stakeholders in an ongoing collaborative public advisory process

“I am incredibly grateful for the people of our state who spent countless hours with our team to develop this PNM Integrated Resource Plan. We invited customers, stakeholders and advocates to join us on this journey as we looked at the next twenty years of electricity needs. Thank you to those who walked with us through this process over the past eighteen months,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, president, CEO and chair of PNM.

The IRP is required by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission every three years. PNM proactively reached out to their customers and the public to gain insights on this process. The final report is viewable at www.PNM.com/IRP.

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