PNM announced this week it has received approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) to retire both Unit 2 and Unit 3 after voting 4-1 to approve the agency’s general counsel’s order from a November 16 hearing. The initial agreement was signed in August but was subject to that order.

While the approval allows for the retirements, it also means that SJGS can now install emissions control technology on the remaining units as well as other benefits to address Clean Air Act compliance. Specifically, it will install selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) equipment, reduce water use and seven different emissions, including carbon, at the facility by about half.

The entire state will also be able to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, officials said.

“The record for this case over the last two years has demonstrated our continued commitment to customers to provide reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable power,” PNM Chairman, President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn said. “This plan not only represents the least-cost alternative for compliance with federal environmental regulations, but also protects the economy of the Four Corners region and the state.”

Vincent-Collawn noted that the facility was originally looking at a different future due to a federally mandated plan that, with implementation, would reduce regional haze but also come with burdensome costs.

“The agreement approved today is the result of substantial work done by many parties. I appreciate the collaborative effort that brought forth the best solution to a complex problem, along with the tenacity of those parties to continue to work on this solution during the course of the two years that it took to gain approval.”