Regulators inch closer to final decision on coal power plant

 Regulators inch closer to final decision on coal power plant

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico regulators are moving closer to a final decision on a plan by the state's largest electric provider to replace part of an aging coal-fired plant with a mix of more coal, natural gas, nuclear and solar power.

The Public Regulation Commission was briefed Wednesday by hearing examiner Ashley Schannauer. He's recommending that commissioners not approve the plan unless changes are made.

Schannauer reiterated uncertainties surrounding the ownership makeup of the San Juan Generating Station and the lack of a coal-supply contract beyond 2017.

Schannauer told commissioners the costs and risk associated with Public Service Co. of New Mexico's plan outweigh the benefits to customers.

Commissioners asked questions about the urgency of making a decision but took no action. A final decision could come next month.

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