Agreement would ensure coal supply for NM power plant

 Agreement would ensure coal supply for NM power plant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The owners of a power plant that provides electricity to more than 2 million customers throughout the Southwest have reached an agreement that will ensure the plant is supplied with coal through 2022.

The current coal contract for the San Juan Generating Station expires in 2017. Uncertainty about the future supply has become a sticking point as New Mexico regulators consider plans for closing part of the plant and shifting to other sources of electricity.

Officials with mining company BHP Billiton said Friday the coal supply proposal has been agreed to in principal and would be submitted to the state Public Regulation Commission for consideration.

They say BHP Billiton also has reached an agreement with Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. to purchase the mine that feeds the plant.

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