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New Mexico Regulators are considering the Transfer of Power Plant Shares

It will be up to New Mexico regulators to pave the way for the state’s major utility to sell its stake in one of Southwest’s last coal-fired power Plant to the Navajo energy business.

On Thursday, a hearing examiner for the Public Regulation Commission presented his findings to commissioners, arguing that they will save consumers money, strengthen the Navajo Nation’s position in determining the Plant future, and cut emissions from the utility’s portfolio.Environmentalists have been advocating for the closure of Four Corners and have opposed the proposed transfer, claiming that it would preclude an early closure.

New Mexico Regulators are considering the Transfer of Power Plant SharesAccording to the information obtained in the case, the facility will most likely continue to operate for at least another decade, whether PNM transfers its interests or not.The proposal calls for Navajo Transitional Energy Co. to buy out PNM’s stake in Four Corners, making it the Plant second-largest shareholder. PNM shareholders would pay $75 million to NTEC to absorb the company’s obligations under a coal supply deal.

For decades, the Four Corners Power Plant, located on tribal grounds, has been a major economic generator for the Navajo Nation. The mill and the nearby mine that supplies it employs hundreds of tribe people, and the activities provide about a quarter of the Navajo Nation’s yearly general fund income.Supporters of the planned transfer argue that a bigger ownership stake in Four Corners will boost the Navajo Nation as it transitions to more renewable energy generation in the coming years.

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