PNM contracts with Red Mesa wind farm to meet renewable needs

On July 1, Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) filed a Renewable Energy Portfolio Procurement Plan for 2014 with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission under the Renewable Energy Act (REA) and the commission’s Renewable Energy rules.

The plan covers the installation by Dec. 31, 2014, of 23 MW of PNM-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities. PNM states that renewable energy credits (RECs) from these facilities are necessary to meet PNM solar diversity and RPS quantity requirements beginning in 2015 and that annual generation from these facilities is projected to be approximately 64,500 MWh.

Other parts of the plan include:

  • To the extent that the commission determines that a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CCN) is required for the construction of these solar facilities, PNM conditionally requests such a CCN.
  • A 20-year purchased power agreement (PPA), beginning Jan. 1, 2015, for the output of the existing 102-MW Red Mesa Wind Energy Center located in Cibola County, N.M. PNM states that annual generation is projected to be 208,200 MWh, with a first year price of $27.92 per MWh.
  • The procurement of 50,000 MWh of wind RECs from Southwestern Public Service (SPS) for RPS compliance in 2014. PNM states that the price for these RECs will be $1.00 per MWh.
  • The procurement in 2015 of 120,000 MWh of wind RECs for RPS compliance in 2015. PNM states that the price per MWh REC is $4.25 for the purchases.

PNM’s existing renewable energy portfolio consists of wind and solar resources, including customer-sited distributed generation (DG) solar facilities, and a small number of RECs from hydroelectric generation. “Existing” resources are all resources previously approved by the commission, including resources that are still under development.


The New Mexico Wind Energy Center (NMWEC) is a 200-MW wind generation facility located in eastern New Mexico that is owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. Under a 25-year PPA, PNM purchases all of the energy and RECs produced by NMWEC, which on average is 525,000 MWh per year.


In 2011 PNM acquired, under a turnkey construction contract, 22 MW of solar PV generating facilities located at five sites. PNM also completed a demonstration project consisting of 500 kW of solar PV generation with battery storage. PNM estimates that these facilities will produce 53,635 MWh of energy and RECs during 2014 and 53,363 MWh of energy and RECs during 2015.

PNM has contracted for the construction in 2013 of an additional 20 MW of solar PV facilities located at four sites (two in Los Lunas, one in Alamogordo, and one in Deming), which were approved by the commission. Construction of these facilities isexpected to be completed by the end of 2013. The projected amount of energy and RECs from these facilities during 2014 and 2015 is 48,470 MWh and 48,228 MWh, respectively.

PNM-owned solar PV facilities at its Aztec building (5 kW) and at Algodones (25 kW), from which the RECs have a grandfathered 3-to-1 weighting for RPS purposes, are projected to result in approximately 122 MWh of RECs for RPS compliance purposes in both 2014 and 2015.


Geothermal: PNM has entered into a PPA with Lightning Dock Geothermal to procure energy and RECs from a 10-MW geothermal facility to be located about 20 miles southwest of Lordsburg. The facility is currently projected to be in service by June 1, 2014. The amount of energy and RECs delivered to PNM is projected to be approximately 41,231 MWh in 2014 and 73,428 MWh in 2015.

Santa Fe Hydro: In 2011, PNM entered into a five year agreement with the City of Santa Fe to purchase RECs associated with a small hydroelectric generator in Santa Fe. The amount of RECs delivered to PNM in 2014 and 2015 is projected to be 150 MWh each year.

Biogas: PNM has offered a program through which it can acquire biogas to be used in the generation of electricity and retain the associated RECs. However, no projects have enrolled in the program since its adoption in 2010. Consequently, PNM has projected that it will acquire no RECs under this program in 2014 or 2015 and is seeking authorization in this proceeding to terminate the program. Biogas developers will have the opportunity to submit bids in response to future renewable energy Requests for Proposals (RFP).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.