New Mexico utility to allow nuclear leases to expire

A New Mexico utility will exit current leases for nuclear power and will instead develop renewable power by 2040, Kallanish Energy reports.

PNM said it will allow leases for 114 megawatts of electricity power from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona to expire.

Replacing that reduced capacity will allow PNM “to integrate more renewable resources that provide the best value to customers and support the path to emissions-free energy,” said the company that is a subsidiary of PNM Resources.

“The increase in renewables combined with ongoing nuclear ownership will maximize cost savings to customers and is essential to achieving our plans of emissions-free energy by 2040,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources chairman, president, and CEO, in a statement.

PNM, with headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, owns a 10% stake in the nuclear power plant that is about 45 miles west of Phoenix in the Arizona desert.

Its continued ownership in Palo Verde will be about 288 megawatts. That power can meet demand 24 hours a day, the company said.

PNM said it plans to issue an RFP to replace the electricity capacity from Palo Verde by mid-2023.

The company provides power to 790,000 customers in New Mexico and Texas.