Clean Energy Solutions

Clean Energy Solutions

Deal would reduce millions of tons of carbon dioxide, but where’s the renewable energy?

Coal - San Juan

By Shrayas Jatkar
Beyond Coal organizing representative

The state of New Mexico and PNM announced that they had struck a major deal with the Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 15 regarding the future of the San Juan Generating Station, a 40-year-old coal-burning power plant near Farmington. Key elements of the deal are to close two of the four coal-burning units by the end of 2017 while putting pollution controls on the remaining two units to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and other toxic pollutants.


Member Story: House Savings

Norma Reyes

Member Story: House Savings

Four years ago, I started greening my house as I made needed repairs. First I replaced the main windows with double-pane, energy-saving windows (which also reduced outside noise considerably). I have followed up with Energy Star toilets (rebate water credit paid for them entirely), showerheads, refrigerator, dishwasher and entry door. I’ve also installed an energy efficient garage door and put a thermal blanket on the water heater.


Solar Saves the Day

photo by Ken Hughes

Solar System kept water pumping when fire knocked out other power
(From the New Mexico Energy and Minerals Department)

RUIDOSO, N.M. – A solar photovoltaic system installed by the Sun Valley Water and Sanitation District kept the water pumping to volunteer firefighters fighting the Little Bear Fire when all other power in the area was lost.


SunZia: Transmission for renewable energy

SunZia

The Sierra Club and the Rio Grande Chapter have identified as an overarching priority the fight against global warming.

To stimulate investments in renewable energy production, renewable-rich areas like central New Mexico need transmission lines to deliver renewable power to customers across the west.

The Rio Grande Chapter believes renewable-energy transmission projects are good for stimulating clean energy in New Mexico. We also believe in making sure these projects are planned and built to strict environmental standards. We want the bar set high.


PNM’s Plan for Plant Does Little To Help Environment

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

Originally published in the Albuquerque Journal on March 29
By David Van Winkle / Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club

Over the past year, Public Service Company of New Mexico has criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s work in New Mexico, claiming that the EPA’s plan to reduce nitrous-oxide emissions and protect New Mexico’s environment would cost much more than needed, would raise electricity rates the equivalent of one monthly electricity bill each year and would hurt New Mexico’s low-income customers.

The Journal endorsed this view in an editorial on March 8: “State Coal Plant Plan Makes Long-Term Sense.” … There are some facts missing from the storyline.

First is that PNM’s own rate increases in the last few years, on behalf of its shareholders, have increased electric rates the equivalent of five monthly electric bills. No mention by PNM of low-income customers in that regard.


While We Pay More, PNM Produces Lame Excuses

Solar PV installation

By Dexter Coolidge and Sanders Moore, Director of Environment New Mexico - Published in the Albuquerque Journal on March 21, 2012

When we switch on a light or turn on the TV at night, most of us aren’t thinking about where the power comes from or why it costs what it does. But a recent report on New Mexico’s largest utility, PNM, was a reminder that it’s worth finding out.

The average New Mexico resident is paying PNM $250 more each year for electricity since 2008. It turns out that the great majority of this (79 percent) has gone toward huge increases in PNM corporate profits. By comparison, PNM directed less than 6 percent of the rate increases toward clean-energy development or energy-efficiency programs that benefit New Mexicans.


Court denies attempt by Gov. Martinez and PNM to stall pollution controls for coal-burning plant

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

March 1 - DENVER – A federal court ruled today that PNM must comply with a decision last fall requiring the utility to install pollution controls to significantly cut the 16,000 tons a year of harmful haze, ozone, and fine particle-producing nitrogen pollution that pours from the smokestacks each year at the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, N.M.


PNM rate increases fuel soaring profits

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

New Report Finds New Mexico Utility PNM Used Huge Rate Hikes
on Residents to Fuel Soaring Profits During Recession

Little spent toward clean energy or efficiency for New Mexicans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - February 28, 2012 - The Sierra Club, New Energy Economy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Diné CARE, and Southwest Organizing Project released a report today finding that New Mexico’s largest utility, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), has aggressively pursued major increases in electricity rates, corporate profits, and executive pay during a period of economic hardship for many residents.


Stronger, better-funded energy-efficiency programs needed

Green Building Code in Santa Fe Approved

Published February 19 in Santa Fe New Mexican and on February 25 in the Albuquerque Journal

We have all seen our Public Service Company of New Mexico electricity rates increase over the past few years. From April 2008 to today, PNM rates for the average residential customer has increased by 41 percent or $250 per year.

Where is all of this money going? More of it should be coming right back to you and other customers in the form of PNM information and rebates to lower your costs for energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances, weatherization and insulation. But currently most of it is going to keep PNM's aging coal plants running and hooking up more energy-guzzling housing subdivisions.

Why should you care? Because energy efficiency is the cheapest way to satisfy New Mexico's electricity demand, by a significant margin. PNM's 2010 annual report on energy efficiency states that the average cost to save a kilowatt hour of electrical energy is 1.86 cents. Compare that to the 11 cents per kWh paid by the average residential user.


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