PNM requests relaxed renewable energy mandate

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric utility is seeking a waiver from regulations that require the use of more renewable energy, saying it won't be able to comply next year without exceeding cost thresholds designed to protect customers.

Public Service Company of New Mexico filed a revised version of its proposed renewable energy procurement plan in December, and the Public Regulation Commission has scheduled a hearing in April on its waiver request. Commissioners don't expect to make a final decision until late spring.

Commissioner Jason Marks said the request will undergo close scrutiny to ensure PNM is making a "reasonable effort" to meet the state's requirements.

"We need to determine if they have done everything that they could have done and have planned to do everything they can do in order to either comply or come close to complying," he said.

As part of New Mexico's renewable energy portfolio standard, 10 percent of the electricity generated by utilities that serve customers around the state must come from renewable resources such as wind, solar and biomass. That requirement is up from 6 percent last year, and it will increase to 20 percent by 2020.

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