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Solar leads options for replacing New Mexico power plant

Jun 24, 2020

Credit Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Solar panels with the capacity to produce hundreds of megawatts of electricity and back-up battery storage systems would be installed in northwestern New Mexico to replace the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station under one alternative that will be considered by state regulators.

Hearing examiners with the Public Regulation Commission issued the recommendations Wednesday in a case that has been fraught with protests, political power struggles and legal battles. The document states that New Mexico's new energy transition law puts more weight on environmental effects than on cost, so some of the options that include more renewable energy could end up costing ratepayers more.