Renewable energy mandate challenged in New Mexico

Public Service Co. of New Mexico is challenging a directive from state regulators that it buy more wind power to comply with state law to include renewable energy sources in its portfolio, according to the Associated Press.

The utility, a unit of PNM Resources Inc. (NYSE: PNM), initially said it would spend $6 million a year to buy wind power from a plant in New Mexico. It changed its mind and said it would buy renewable energy credits and fight the regulatory order, the article said. Regulators said they would not accept additional paper credits from the utility, preferring the option to buy wind power from physical generating assets. The utility said it is meeting state law and should not be forced to change its decision to satisfy regulators’ desires.

Under state law utilities can meet renewable energy standards either by buying power directly or purchasing renewable energy certificates from another company that has exceeded state requirements. PNM reportedly wants to buy certificates. Regulators rejected that option.

If the commission holds firm, the New Mexico utility could appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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