The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Thursday approved a settlement that will return $115 million — or about $9.28 per month — to Public Service Co. of New Mexico ratepayers over a year.
The settlement is payback from the utility to customers for continuing to charge them for coal plant operations at the San Juan Generating Station, even after it permanently closed last September.
A settlement agreement was reached a month ago between PNM and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, as well as several environmental and consumer advocacy organizations. It was being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.
But following the settlement agreement, the Supreme Court agreed last week to remand it back to the PRC. Now, the PRC is giving its stamp of approval to the agreement, which ends the controversy regarding PNM having continued to charge ratepayers for the coal plant even after its closure.
The settlement still has to return to the Supreme Court for a final dismissal, however. But credits will begin to start showing up for ratepayers 30 days after the PRC’s approval of the settlement on Thursday.
In a statement, Attorney General Raúl Torrez said the office is pleased “that the New Mexico Supreme Court remanded this case and that the PRC approved the settlement agreement,” adding that the “settlement was a great achievement for all parties and is in the best interest of ratepayers.”
PNM CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn said the utility looks forward to completing the retirement of the coal-fired plant and is “pleased to have reached the unanimous agreement” with the intervening parties.
“As we continue to bring new renewable resources and battery storage capabilities to our system, we remain focused on reliably meeting New Mexicans’ energy needs and achieving our clean energy goals,” she said.