Farmington, New Mexico, and Enchant Energy Corp. have signed an agreement for the company to purchase a 95% interest in the 847-megawatt San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) from the participants exiting in 2022. The city will retain its current 5% ownership.
This agreement will allow SJGS to operate beyond June 30, 2022, and saves nearly 1,600 direct and indirect jobs, Enchant Energy said. It also allows the station to continue to produce “highly reliable, low-priced, low-emissions and low-carbon baseload power at no additional cost to Farmington Electric Utility System (FEUS) customers.”
“This is a very significant event for the city of Farmington, customers of Farmington Electric Utility System and San Juan County,” said Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett. “Successfully completing carbon capture retrofitting at SJGS will keep the plant operating, retain hundreds of power plant and mineworkers’ jobs, maintain the tax base and revenues for local schools and ensure that electric rates remain among the lowest in New Mexico for FEUS customers.”
By operating SJGS until 2027, the FEUS Integrated Resource Plan shows customers will save $27 million compared with a 2022 closure, with more savings accruing the longer the plant operates, according to Enchant Energy.
The carbon capture retrofit equipment and business is owned by Enchant Energy and the city is not assuming any liabilities for carbon capture.
“There’s a great deal of momentum in the United States for carbon capture projects using post-combustion amine technology,” Enchant Energy CEO Jason Selch said. “Recent technology improvements, the financing mechanisms and the ability to profitably capture and use CO2 all come together in this project. Once completed, this project will benefit northwest New Mexico and the entire state by allowing SJGS to continue providing reliable power and meeting the strict carbon emissions standards set by the New Mexico Energy Transition Act.”