Electric demand to outpace capacity for New Mexico utilities – Las Cruces Sun-News

ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico regulators are involved Regarding The power of the state’s largest electrical suppliers To fulfill calls for all by way of peak seasons in 2023 and 2024.

The general public Regulation Fee convened a particular meeting Thursday with utility authoritiess To debate current chain factors Which have delayed tasks that have been meant to fill the void as Public Service Co. Of latest Mexico shutters A critical coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico and as demand will enhance.

PNM authoritiess said the utility Might have “pretty a hole” to fill subsequent summer time since photo voltaic and battery storage methods that have been initially anticipated to be on-line To commerce the San Juan Producing Station — which is closing subsequent week — gained’t be working as deliberate.

El Paso Electric, a utility that serves clients in southern New Mexico, Is additionally anticipating a performance hole subsequent summer time. Like PNM, El Paso Electric Can buy power from completely different producers To Enassembleive enough performance when clients crank up their air conditioners Through The most properly appreciated of days.

Utility authoritiess informed the regulators about skyrocketing prices for supplies, escalating destayry prices and The lack of producers to fill orders for gadgets Similar to photo voltaic panels, transformers and completely different elements needed To assemble new generating stations.

For these producers Who’re nonetheless accepting orders, lead occasions Might be As prolonged as 72 months. Even the gadgets needed to splice cables collectively earlier than burying them are Briefly current.

Still, the plan is To maintain the lights on, said Mark Fenton, authorities director of regulatory coverage and case administration for PNM.

Feeer Stephen Fischmann informed the authoritiess To maintain their priorities straight as they face what completely different commissioners acknowledged have been unprecedented challenges.

“The lights going out is the worst case,” he said. “I’m pretty assembleive we’re going to maintain away from a disaster right here However As quickly as we don’t, We now Want To maintain all decisions open.”

Feeer Joseph Maestas said New Mexico’s low-income clients Have to be thought-about as prices enhance and utilities search regulatory approval for alternative power.

In New Mexico’s oil patch, officers with Southwestern Public Service Co. anticipate over 55 megawatts of demand from oil and gasoline Approaching-line subsequent yr and almost double that The subsequent yr. The utility said It could meet that demand Inside The approaching yrs but famous tright here are deliberate retirements of pure gasoline power crops in the direction of The prime of The final decade.

PNM officers said They’ve revamped their plans for alerting clients when it appears like demand will outpace performance and rolling outages may ensue. The media blitz will embrace automated calls, tv and radio commercials Together with social media posts that urge clients To Scale again on their use. A particular internet website would go stay for monitoring outages.

“The very Very first factor is to not put clients in that state of affairs,” said PNM spokesman Raymond Sandoval. “However we understand that we Want to be prudent And want to plan for all types of contingencies.”