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The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has given its unanimous approval for utility PNM to add more renewable energy to meet the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The commission also approved a plan for PNM to update the utility's voluntary customer program, PNM Sky Blue, to include solar along with wind energy.

Under the plan, PNM says it will be fully compliant with the state's renewable quantity requirement of 10% in 2013 and 2014, as well as with a diversity requirement in 2014 when a geothermal plant comes online.

PNM plans to build 20 MW of new solar power, constructing new centers in Otero and Valencia counties and expanding the existing Deming and Los Lunas centers. PNM will also enter into a 20-year agreement to purchase 10 MW of geothermal energy from a facility located southwest of Lordsburg and owned by Lightning Dock Geothermal. That plant will be online by 2014. In addition, PNM will continue its renewable energy credit purchase program for customers who install their own solar PV systems.

Through PNM Sky Blue, customers can contribute to the production of renewable energy over and above the energy PNM procures to meet the RPS. Currently, PNM Sky Blue customers pay for blocks of wind energy at an additional cost of less than half a penny ($0.0042) per kWh, for up to 90% of their monthly consumption.

Starting next year, PNM Sky Blue purchases will pay for a mix of energy produced at a PNM solar energy center and the N.M. Wind Energy Center in House, N.M. The commission has approved an additional 1.5 MW of new renewable energy to be built for PNM Sky Blue.




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