PNM Says Current Program for REC Payments is Empty

PNM wrote a letter to solar contractors today to inform them that the current program for  REC payments is officially empty. Jody Karp writes, “with the applications received through last week, all the capacity for the entire REC purchase program through 2016 is spoken for.” This means there will be zero REC credits for new customers until 2017. Any new application will be for interconnection only. Customers still get net metering benefits, but will not be paid for the kilowatt hours of energy they generate from their systems. PNM will still install a REC meter, and customers will be eligible for any new incentive program in the future.

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From the Directors- 2015

2015 has been and will continue to be a big year for REIA. With a number of new members and with the important issue of Public Service Company of New Mexico’s (PNM) proposed solar access fee, REIA will be aggressively engaged in PNM’s upcoming rate case.

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Why Not Just Pay Yourself?

A new PNM rate case should include more DG solar. Decentralizing the grid will stabilize the energy demand while providing good jobs for New Mexicans through the installation of solar. Encouraging customers to add solar to their properties will stimulate the economy. Solar DG is a great investment. Instead of paying PNM for your electricity, why not just pay yourself? Call a REIA member today to find out how.

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Tell AG Balderas to withdraw support for PNM’s Coal and Nuclear Plan

From Conservation Voters New Mexico

It’s become clear that PNM’s replacement power plan for the aging San Juan coal plant fails to protect your wallet or health, now or in the future. PNM’s plan to replace retiring coal-fired electricity by reinvesting in coal, nuclear and natural gas has not stood the test of public scrutiny. In short, it’s a bad deal for New Mexicans.

So why does Attorney General Hector Balderas’ continue to support the agreement as recently as May 14? Attorney General Balderas says PNM’s plan is good enough – and his position shows that he is not prioritizing progress on critical issues that impact New Mexicans every day – such as pollution from coal-fired energy and the impacts of climate change. By speaking out today, we can show Attorney General Balderas that there is a network of active, engaged and fired-up constituents who are paying attention and will hold him accountable for allowing New Mexico’s largest utility to put our health on the side lines.

Call on Attorney General Balderas to make our health a priority and withdraw his support for PNM’s coal and nuclear replacement power plan NOW.

Attorney General Balderas has seen the plan crumble and the real costs revealed. Many important aspects of the plan have changed:

  • Because Farmington changed their mind on taking on some of San Juan’s coal capacity, PNM is taking on more coal capacity than originally planned, and passing those costs onto customers.
  • Miscalculations and omitted information in the plan’s cost calculations total $1 billion.
  • PNM has repeatedly failed to bring binding contracts for ownership of the coal mine and plant over the last 18 months.
  • Support for the plan has all but disappeared. The Albuquerque Bernalillo Water Authority, Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico, New Mexico Independent Power Producers and Western Resource Advocates have withdrawn their support of the agreement. The city of Albuquerque, the city of Albuquerque Water Utility, Bernalillo County, the city of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County have all objected to PNM’s plan. More than 6,500 New Mexicans have already signed petitions opposing the plan.

The Public Regulation Commission still has to vote on the plan this summer – and what Attorney General Balderas recommends will affect them heavily. Send him a message now to urge him to withdraw his support of PNM’s coal and nuclear replacement power plan.

The decision to shutter half of the aging San Juan Generating Station is a massive opportunity for our state. How to replace that energy is arguably the biggest environmental and public health decision in a generation – and Attorney General Balderas’ lack of leadership on this issue will have a hugely detrimental impact on the outcome. I hope you’ll join us in urging Attorney General Balderas’ to withdraw his support for their plan by sending him a message today.

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It’s not over yet! The Special Session and The Solar Market Development Tax Credit extension

If the NM Legislature goes into a Special Session, the Solar Market Development Tax Credit extension can be included in the tax package that is developed. If it is included, the Governor would sign off on the agreed-upon tax package and our bill would therefore be passed.

The decision to do the Special Session is happening right now. There’s a lot of talk that it’s not going to happen BUT if it doesn’t, the capital outlay bill won’t pass (in addition to the tax package) and the political price for that will be steep.

Now’s the time to act; we can move the dial. Call the legislators listed below and tell them:

“I live and work in your district.
If the special session happens, I’d like the Solar Market Development Tax Credit extension to be included in the tax package.
This is very important to me because….”

If you are not in these districts, please contact people who are, so they can call and also tell other people in their district to call.

Thanks,
Claudia Pavel
REIA Board Member
Representative Nate Gentry – R
District 30
Bernalillo
505 508-0782 (ofc)
natefornm@gmail.com

Representative Don Tripp – R
District 49
Catron, Socorro, Valencia
575 835-2465 (ofc)
trippsdon@netscape.net
speaker@nmlegis.gov

Senator John Arthur Smith – D
District 35
Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra
575 546-4979 (ofc)
john.smith@nmlegis.gov

Mary Kay Papen – D
District 38
Dona Ana
home: 575 524-4462
marykay.papen@nmlegis.gov

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A Good Day for Solar in New Mexico

On May 13th, the PRC dismissed PNM’s entire rate filing and approved the hearing examiners’s initial recommendation. As a result, PNM has been asked to refile their rate case. The vote was 4-1 (Lyons). PNM failed to provide sufficient evidence to support their request for a rate increase. In particular to the case, REIA opposed the solar fee, a fee proposed to recover “interconnection” costs that solar customers add to the grid when they install solar.

We’re pleased that the PRC agrees that the case lacked sufficient proof. In other states, solar has been shown to be a net benefit to rate payers and solar fees have slowed down installations (in the case of SRP in Arizona) by 96%. REIA will continue to work to make sure the access fee and any changes to net metering will not be part of the next rate case.

Please like and share the good day for solar news! ‪#‎SavesolarNM‬​

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DOE Has Announced Sunshot Contest: Race To 7 Day Solar!

The DOE has announced a contest to pit teams against each other in a race to install small PV systems in less than a week from the permit to the connection.
Prize money of $10 million is available.
The contest period is over 18 months, installing 10 MW of solar for small systems (<100 kW), 15 MW for larger.

The Letter of Intent deadline has passed (April 2) (this was optional) , but a pre-application submission is due May 24, 2015.

DE-FOA-0000766: Sunshot Prize: Race to 7-Day Solar
Link:
https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/#FoaId6a68f4cb-9a79-4ed8-b2ca-171ded7a15c3

Feel free to forward to others in the community of solar in New Mexico.

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Call Governor Martinez Now

cvnmlonglogo

“Only 3 days left: Gov. Martinez has until Friday to sign bills that passed the legislature. Call Gov. Martinez NOW and urge her to sign the solar tax credit into law.” @Conservation Voters of New Mexico

Here is the link for all relevant info on how to make that call.
http://www.congressweb.com/CVNM/36

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Huge Win for Renewable Energy in Albuquerque

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Albuquerque City Council votes 6 to 3 in a bipartisan super majority to withdraw support from PNM’s Stipulated Agreement for greater investment in coal and nuclear

Santa Fe – The Albuquerque City Council voted 6 to 3 to withdraw support for Public Service Company of New Mexico’s (PNM) stipulated agreement pending before the NM Public Regulation Commission (NM PRC). The stipulated agreement calls for the purchase of 132 additional megawatts of coal from San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) and the transfer of 134 additional megawatts of nuclear from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS) unit 3 into rates at the cost of $7.5 billion, 13-000390-UT.

The resolution, R-177, directs the City Administration to withdraw support for the Stipulation Agreement based on costs to ratepayers and increasing risk considerations. The City of Albuquerque is the 13th party to officially oppose the stipulation. It joins three other parties, that withdrew their support from PNM’s coal and nuclear plan during the PRC Hearing in January including New Mexico Independent Power Producers, Renewable Energy Industries Association, and Western Resource Advocates as well as the Albuquerque Water Authority that shifted its position from neutral to opposed.
Albuquerque City Councilors cited the escalating costs, a fuel cost error of $367 Million, water consumption (when Albuquerque is facing drought) and outstanding risks as their reasons for withdrawing support for the Stipulation. “Since the filing of the Stipulation Agreement, the costs and economics of certain elements of the Agreement have changed to the detriment of the City’s ratepayers,” stated the Resolution, brought by Councilor Brad Winter. The Resolution also referred to a disturbing event that rocked the parties during the hearing, the fact the City of Farmington reversed its decision to acquire an additional 65 megawatts in SJGS Unit 4.
Before the vote was called, Councilor Brad Winter who sponsored the resolution said to PNM, “I understand that you are concerned about your shareholders, and you should be, but somebody has got to look out for the ratepayers who are our constituents”.
Albuquerque City Councilors heard from members of the public who packed the Council Chambers beyond its 241 occupancy capacity. The public spoke overwhelmingly in support of the resolution citing the need for ratepayer protection from rising coal prices, an unnecessarily expensive plan that will burden ratepayers with billions of dollars of debt for aging and unreliable plants for the next 20 years, the enormous consumption of water with the generation of coal and nuclear, the need to shift to renewables and bring renewable energy jobs to New Mexico, and the need to protect our children’s health and the environment.
Only 3 parties remain signatories of the Stipulated Agreement with PNM: the New Mexico Attorney General, NMIEC, and PRC Staff.
Meanwhile, representative bodies including the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Bernalillo County, and now the City of Albuquerque, which together represent approximately 80% of PNM’s rate base have come out against the Stipulation.
“The Stipulated Agreement is proving to be unviable. PNM’s efforts to offload their risky, expensive, and unreliable coal and nuclear investments to New Mexico’s ratepayers has come under scrutiny and the agencies that are charged with protecting the economic, health, and environmental interests of New Mexicans are standing up in our defense,” said Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy. “PNM is not above the law, they have an obligation to New Mexico to provide cost-effective energy options that don’t burden ratepayers. There is growing momentum against PNM’s plan and its very exciting.”

About New Energy Economy
New Energy Economy is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2004 to create economic opportunity in New Mexico with less carbon pollution and more clean energy. New Energy Economy works in partnership with diverse allies to encourage job growth, investment and innovation in a more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy sector. New Energy Economy grounds its work in the research and findings of the world’s leading scientific and technological authorities. Learn more at www.newenergyeconomy.org

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Abq City Council Call to Action

Dear Friends, 4-6-2015

We now have the published agenda (attached) for tonight’s Abq City Council vote on resolution R-15-77, opposing PNM’s San Juan nuke & coal power plan.
Based on what we’ve learned, we are offering two options for those wanting to attend. Here is what we know and recommend:

1. PNM has asked their business allies to attend the council by 5PM and sign up for public comments. Comments occur twice in the meeting – 1st shortly after the council starts and 2nd when the agenda topic comes up. Sign-up for comments occurs between 4:30-5:30. There is a limit of 30 who can sign up.

2. The vote on R-15-77 is scheduled late in the meeting, as item 14-m. If there is a large public showing, the council MAY choose to pull this topic in early or it may happen later as scheduled. We have to be flexible.

3. We recommend offering attendees two options:
A) Some may want to arrive by 4:30-5pm, and sign up to comment early. We do want to ensure that PNM cannot pack the early sign-in sheet to the 30 limit with only their folks. This also ensures we have a presence if the council pulls the topic in earlier. Those who comment early could leave if it appears our vote will be late in the evening.
B) Others may want to come later, by 6PM, and sign in for the 2nd comment period. These folks should be prepared to stay later into the meeting and comment when our vote comes up as item 14-m.

Jim Mackenzie will arrive as part of the early group to coordinate and answer questions.
I will come by 6PM as part of group 2.

See you there!

Tom Solomon
350.org NM

+++++++++++++
Thanks for your support in pushing back against PNM’s plans to replace power from the San Juan generating station with more coal and nuclear.
The Abq City Council will vote Monday 4/6/2015 on a bill opposing PNM’s San Juan nuke & coal power plan.
We want a yes vote. We expect opposition this time, so a strong showing is vital.

Please plan to attend Monday 4/6/2015 for the Abq City Council vote on San Juan.

What: Abq City Council final vote on R-15-77 opposing PNM’s San Juan coal+nuke power plan
When: 5:00PM or 6PM Mon April 6, 2015. See above
Where: V.E. Griego Council Chambers (basement), 1 Civic Plaza NW, Abq, NM 87102

PNM and the ‘NM Business Coalition’ has sent this action alert to get their business members to attend and speak against this resolution and in favor of PNM’s nuke and coal plan. We expect lots of opponents to attend, so we need a big showing by clean energy supporters to speak in favor of R-15-77.

You can also help by sending an email to all city councilors via their web site – click here.
You can say simply that you support clean energy in NM and ask your councilor to ‘vote yes on R-15-77’.

Please attend if you can!

Best regards,
Tom Solomon
350.org NM

The new resolution R-15-77 is here:
https://cabq.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2242973&GUID=A787B91F-6055-4C36-A39D-765AC078F231&Options=ID|Text|&Search=

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