New Mexico PRC Issues Response To AG’s Inquiry On Potential Electricity Blackouts In Summer 2022 & 2023

PRC News:

SANTA FE — Welcoming the Office of the Attorney General’s involvement in its ongoing efforts to address resource adequacy with state utilities, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) Wednesday voted to issue a response to the Feb. 15 inquiry by Office of New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas (NMOAG) to the PRC.

The NMOAG’s inquiry was sent to the PRC following PNM’s public claim that blackouts might be a possibility due to the result of resource shortages during peak seasons in the summers of 2022 and 2023.

The Commission’s response letter details how the PRC and NMOAG are aligned regarding policy matters for the approval of replacement resources, including upholding legislation such as the Energy Transition Act, and that the Commission and NMOAG share a common interest in furthering transparency and clarity in state utility resource acquisition processes.

The Commission welcomes the attorney general’s involvement in the process “to constructively investigate and address such issues”.

Another letter expected to be issued from a majority of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management called on the agency to assist with emergency preparedness regarding supply chain disruptions affecting New Mexico utility companies, including both the large investor-owned utilities and the smaller rural electric cooperatives.

Citing responses to the Commission’s inquiries from utility companies regarding the potential service impacts of supply chain disruptions, the cost as well as the availability of materials and the ability for smaller utilities to receive smaller orders were all factors contributing to the issue.

The Commission offered several working ideas to be jointly investigated for viability by the Department of Homeland Security, the Governor, the Attorney General, Congressional delegates and the White House, in a call for an “all hands on deck” approach to keep New Mexico’s lights on.

About the PRC:

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission regulates the utilities, telecommunications, and motor carrier industries to ensure fair and reasonable rates, and to assure reasonable and adequate services to the public as provided by law. The NMPRC also promotes public safety through the offices of Pipeline Safety Bureau and the Transportation Division.

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