Solar plans knocked in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, April 19 (UPI) -- A New Mexico power utility's plan to go green through solar power is running into opposition from those who say it will wind up costing consumers too much.

Public Service Co. of New Mexico has proposed spending tens of millions of dollars a year to develop solar power generation. That plan has spawned objections from the New Mexico attorney general's office, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority, the New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers, Public Regulation Commission staff and solar energy company SunEdison.


Assistant Attorney General Jeff Taylor told the Albuquerque Journal the utility's proposal would cause customers' rates to jump 6 percent while producing relatively little electricity that PNM doesn't need now, given the state of the economy.

Peter Gould of the New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers said the plan involves "choosing the most expensive resource and limiting your options down the road," the newspaper reported Monday.

But Ron Darnell, PNM's vice president of regulatory affairs, told the Journal depending on variables such as revenues and fuel costs, the impact on rates could be as low as 2.7 percent.

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