New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and Renewable Energy in New Mexico
The Public Regulation Commission reviews and approves renewable energy procurement plans and reports of Investor Owned Utilities ("IOU’s") and Rural Electric Cooperatives ("Coops") pursuant to the Renewable Energy Act ("REA"), §§ 62-16-1 et seq. NMSA 1978 and Title 17.9.572 NMAC ("Rule 572"). IOU’s in New Mexico are procuring renewable energy and renewable energy certificates from New Mexico renewable generation facilities to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements of the REA and Rule 572.
Investor Owned Utilities and the RPS
The REA and Rule 572 established an RPS applicable to all investor owned electric utilities in New Mexico. In 2006, the RPS will be 5% of retail sales in kWh’s, reaching 10% by the year 2011. Recent legislative changes to the REA (SB418, signed March 5, 2007 by Governor Bill Richardson) have increased the RPS percentages and extended the time lines - IOU’s now must have in their portfolio as a percentage of total retail sales to New Mexico customers, renewable energy of no less than 15% (by 2015) and 20% (by 2020).
Resource Diversity and the RPS
In addition to the RPS, Rule 572 requires that IOU’s must offer a voluntary renewable energy program to their customers. In addition to and within the total portfolio percentage requirements, utilities must design their public utility procurement plans to achieve a fully diversified renewable energy portfolio no later than January 1, 2011, as follows:
Diversity requirements for IOU’s as % of total RPS
Reasonable Cost Threshold
A public utility shall not be required to add renewable energy to its electric energy supply portfolio, pursuant to the renewable portfolio standard, above the reasonable cost threshold established by the Commission. The reasonable cost threshold for 2006 is one percent of all customers’ aggregated overall annual electric charges, increasing by one-fifth percent per year until January 1, 2011, at which time it will be two percent.
Rural Electric Cooperatives and the RPS
The recent changes to the REA also included expanding the RPS requirements to rural electric cooperatives. Renewable energy must comprise of no less than 5% of retail sales to New Mexico customers by 2015 and the RPS will increase at a rate of 1% annually until 2020, at which time the RPS will be 10%. In addition to the RPS, Rule 572 also requires that Coops must offer a voluntary renewable energy program to their customers provided their supplier makes renewable resources available.
2006 is the first compliance year for New Mexico IOU’s, meaning that IOU’s must demonstrate they have met the RPS requirements in their Renewable Energy Portfolio Reports to the Public Regulation Commission. These reports must be filed with the Public Regulation Commission by September 1, 2007 and by July 1 of each year thereafter. Compliance estimates by technology type are shown below for 2006
Renewable Energy Certificate Tracking
The acquisition, sale or transfer, and retirement of any renewable energy certificates used to meet renewable portfolio standards on or after January 1, 2008 must be registered with the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS). WREGIS is the Western Governors’s Association’s independent regional tracking system to provide data necessary to substantiate and support verification and tracking of renewable energy generation.
Annual Renewable Energy Portfolio Procurement Plans
Public utilities (IOU's) must file with the Commission an annual portfolio procurement plan on September 1, 2007, July 1, 2008 and July 1 of each year thereafter. Rural Electric Distribution Cooperatives must file with the Commission by March 1 of each year, a report on its purchases and generation of renewable energy during the preceding calendar year. Rural Electric Distribution Cooperatives must also report to their membership, a summary of its purchases and generation of renewable energy during the preceding calendar year. Renewable energy plans and reports that public utilities file with the Public Regulation Commission are also required to be made available on the utility’s website. Below are links to the utility website where the most recently filed renewable energy plans and report documents are made available.
Renewable Energy Capacity in New Mexico
* Nameplate capacity.** Not all facilities listed have energy contracted by NM IOU’s for compliance with the RPS and the list is not necessarily exhaustive of all projects.
Other Renewable Energy Programs
Investor Owned Utilities
Voluntary program data for 2006 and 2007 are shown below.
Source: IOU compliance filings to the Public Regulation Commission for 2006 and 2007.
Rural Electric Cooperatives
Source: COOP Rule 572 compliance filings to the Public Regulation Commission for 2006 and 2007.
Links and Resources
Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) - Western Governors’s Association’s independent regional tracking system to provide data necessary to substantiate and support verification and tracking of renewable energy generation.
New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG) - Recognizing the profound implications that global warming and climate variation could have on the economy, environment and quality of life in the Southwest, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed Executive Order 05-033 on June 5th, 2005, establishing the New Mexico Climate Change Action Council and the New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG). The Climate Change Action Council shall review and provide recommendations to the Governor’s office regarding climate change policy.
Energy Conservation and Management Division (ECMD) of the NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department - ECMD is responsible for planning and administering energy efficiency and renewable energy technology programs.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the DOE’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.
U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership - The U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program designed to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation by promoting renewable energy.
U.S. Department of Energy Green Power Network - GPN provides news and information on green power markets and related activities. You will find up-to-date information on green power providers, product offerings, consumer issues, and in-depth analyses of issues and policies affecting green power markets.
This page last updated: October 2008 by Utility Division Staff