Public Service Company of New Mexico

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Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) serves about 487,000 electricity customers statewide and also sells electricity on the wholesale market. The company, New Mexico's largest electricity provider, is based in Albuquerque and one of three subsidiaries of PNM Resources, an investor-owned energy holding company also based in Albuquerque.[1]

PNM was founded in 1917 as the Albuquerque Gas and Electric Co. It sold its natural gas utility to New Mexico Gas Company in 2009.[1]

Existing Coal Plants

PNM owns all or part of eight power plants, seven of which are in New Mexico. Two are coal-fired, and PHM has partial ownership:[2]

Plant Name State Year(s) Built Capacity
San Juan Generating Station NM 1973, 1976, 1979, 1982 1,848 MW
Four Corners Steam Plant NM 1963, 1964, 1969, 1970 2,270 MW

Clean Air Act Lawsuit

In 2002 the Grand Canyon Trust and Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against PNM alleging that its San Juan plant was violating its air quality permit. One of the key allegations was that the plant had repeatedly and regularly violated its opacity limit, the density of the plume of tiny, toxic particles coming out of the plant's smokestacks. In February 2004, after a trial before Federal Judge Roy Black in late 2003, the Court rejected PNM's excuses for violating its pollution limits. To avoid a second trial to count the number of violations, PNM agreed in May 2004 that it had violated the opacity limit at San Juan 42,008 times. In August, PNM, the New Mexico Environment Department, the Sierra Club, and Grand Canyon Trust began meeting with the goal of negotiating a settlement that would be acceptable to all parties. The 2005 agreement, memorialized as a federally enforceable consent decree lodged with the court, required additional pollution control equipment to reduce sulfur dioxide by several thousand tons; the installation of state-of-the-art "low NOx burners" to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 10,000 tons; the installation of "baghouses" (giant vacuum bags); and the installation of activated carbon pollution control equipment to reduce mercury by as much as 80 percent.[3]

Contact Information

Public Service Company of New Mexico
Alvarado Square MS 1110
Albuquerque, N.M., 87158
Phone: (505) 241-2700
Website: http://www.pnm.com/

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 "About PNM" Public Service Company of New Mexico Website, August 2009.
  2. "PNM: Power Plants" Public Service Company of New Mexico Website, August 2009.
  3. Sierra Club, "Lawsuit Settlement", Media Release, March 10, 2005.

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