NMSC: Public Regulation Commission’s approval of PNM’s 2018 renewable energy procurement plan affirmed

Today the New Mexico Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers v. New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (opinion by Justice Shannon Bacon).

The issue in the case is whether the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), in asking for bids on a solar power project, unfairly favored turnkey bidders over purchased-power-agreement (PPA) bidders by requiring only the latter “to determine transmission and interconnection costs for their bids,” while using predetermined information for the turnkey bidders. The PPA bidders argued that, in combination with the 30-day deadline for submitting bids, they were disadvantaged because it can take significantly longer than 30 days to gather the required cost information.

Justice Bacon’s opinion held that the evidence in the record supported the PRC’s decision that PNM’s request for proposal was fair. The opinion notes that there was evidence that renewable energy developers often can provide cost information quickly, and that the appellants could have, but did not, request an extension of the 30-day deadline.

If you’re interested in this case, you can also listen to the oral argument, which was held on May 7, 2019, and read this article about the background of the case by Leah Cantor in the Santa Fe Reporter.

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