When utilities fight back: PNM argues with renewables-uber-alles proponents



Quick Take:  For years, I've been urging utilities to become more vocal. To communicate with regulators and ratepayers in advance of new projects to explain the benefits to customers. And, especially, to talk about the kind of future they want to see for themselves. With jurisdictions such as Hawaii and New York publicly discussing ways to reinvent utilities, it's time for utilities to speak up.


That's why I was pleased to hear that PNM has begun speaking up about the future of renewables in New Mexico. In the face of environmental protesters at its recent shareholders' meeting, it is trying to explain that renewables have costs and challenges.


You don't have to agree with PNM's position to agree that it's a good thing when utilities explain their side of the story. - Jesse Berst


Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) says it is committed to renewable energy, but not at any cost and not at the expense of grid reliability.


Environmentalists want the utility to replace lost power from a (partially) retiring coal plant with 100% renewable energy. PNM says it will replace some of it with solar, and the rest with either natural gas or nuclear. It claims it is balancing the desire for renewables with the need for affordability and reliability.