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Farmington aims to keep open San Juan Plant

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By Associated Press

FARMINGTON — Farmington city officials on Friday signed an agreement with a company that proposes outfitting the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station with carbon-capture technology in an effort to extend the power plant’s life beyond its planned closure in 2022.

Under the agreement, the city would keep its 5% share in the plant and Enchant Energy Corp. would acquire a 95% ownership interest from other utilities that will be divesting in the plant.

Public Service Co. of New Mexico plans to shut down the facility as it moves toward a 2040 emissions-free goal and the state begins implementing a new energy law aimed at transitioning to more renewable resources. The utility’s decommissioning application is pending before state regulators along with proposals for replacing the lost capacity once the plant closes.

Environmentalists oppose keeping the plant open, saying there are now less expensive and cleaner options.
Camilla Feibelman with the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club said it’s unlikely that anyone would want to purchase the electricity generated by the coal-fired plant.

But the pending closure has left elected leaders in northwestern New Mexico looking for ways to ease the socio-economic challenges that will come with the plant’s decommissioning.


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