PNM spells out plan

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Plan differs from proposal that sparked a firestorm of criticism

By Susan M. Bryan

ALBUQUERQUE — Public Service Company of New Mexico has come up with a plan for incorporating renewable energy into its portfolio, and it’s very different from an initial proposal that sparked a firestorm of criticism from the renewable energy industry, environmentalists and consumer advocates.

PNM, the state’s largest utility, met a deadline Monday for submitting its renewable energy procurement plan and other documents to the state Public Regulation Commission.

The product of six months of meetings and intense negotiations, the plan could lead to nearly 80 megawatts more of solar power - enough for 26,000 homes - through expanded incentives for customers who install solar equipment on their property and large-scale solar plants made up of hundreds of thousands of panels at various sites around New Mexico.

PNM’s initial proposal, submitted to regulators last summer, called for scaling back its solar incentive programs.

“Because there was so much concern that came out of the original filing, we decided it was in our best interest and everybody’s best interest to try to come to an agreement that worked for everyone,” said PNM spokeswoman Cathy Garber.

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