Los Alamos Utilities Board To Consider San Juan Generating Station Restructuring Agreements

Utilities Manager Timothy A. Glasco

COUNTY News:

Members of the Board of Public Utilities will decide to either approve or not approve the San Juan Generating Station restructuring agreements, which includes Los Alamos County and eight other plant owners. 

If approved Wednesday July 15, the agreements will go to the County Council July 28 for its approval. According to Utilities Manager Timothy A. Glasco, these agreements have been in the works for years. 

“Following a decision to retire two of the four units at this coal-fired plant and retrofit the remaining two with emission reducing technology, four of nine owners decided to exit the plant,” Glasco said. “The agreements before the Board of Public Utilities lays out the financial obligation for the environmental upgrades, decommissioning and mine reclamation for all nine owners, as well as restructuring of ownership for the remaining two units for the participants in the plant post Dec. 31, 2017.”

In 1985 the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities and County Council voted to become a power producer. With bonds, the County purchased a seven percent share in unit four at the San Juan plant, in addition to building two hydroelectric facilities and an entitlement at the Laramie River Generating Station. This generation portfolio mix serves approximately 75 percent of the County and Los Alamos National Laboratory’s load combined. The rest of the power is purchased on the market. Currently, the County’s contract at the San Juan plant expires in 2022. 

“We believe these agreements before the Board and Council are a good deal for our customers,” Glasco said. “We had two objectives in these negotiations, do what is right for the environment and what is right for our customers. The restructuring agreement and the associated coal supply agreement are designed to expire in 2022, the same time that the County’s contract expires in San Juan. This means that the County can exit in a cost-effective manner, if that is what it chooses, and replace San Juan with an alternate resource. It also reduces the emissions at the San Juan plant by more than 50 percent and keeps the costs to our customers at a minimum.”   

The Future Energy Resources (FER) Committee, citizens appointed by the Board of Public Utilities, also will be making a presentation at the Board meeting this Wednesday. As of last February, the seven-member committee has been studying the energy situation for Los Alamos and will be making a recommendation to the Board as to what the future energy resource portfolio should look like for Los Alamos County, as well as a definition of carbon neutrality and suggested policies for distributed generation. 

The Board will make its decision on the San Juan Generating agreements and hear the FER Committee’s recommendation at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos. Agenda documents for the Board meeting can be found on the County’s website at  http://t.co/wNUQqllTAP. If the agreements are approved, they will make their way to the County Council at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 28.

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