eLab Accelerator 2018
Strategically Growing NM Renewables
a hot air balloon floats over Arches National Park near Moab Utah.
Accelerator will help PNM develop a strategy to improve the conversation around energy started by the IRP results, validate or change the direction of the IRP, and build relationships within affected communities and elsewhere, in order to facilitate a more than 30% renewable energy supply.
- Pat O'Connell - Director of Energy Planning and Strategy, PNM
- Thomas Fallgren - VP of Generation, PNM
- David Millar - Director of Energy Analytics, Ascend Analytics
- Benny Schendo - New Mexico Senate, District 22
- Matthew Jaramillo - Government Affairs, PNM
- Sean Foran - Policy Analyst, City of Albuquerque
- Megan O'Reilly - Attorney, Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy
PNM, informed by a recent IRP, has decided to shut down the San Juan coal facility, which supplies half of New Mexico’s electricity, by 2022. Additionally, the IRP recommends eliminating coal fired plants by 2031. New Mexico’s current policy dictates that PNM must avoid duplication of generators and pursue least cost options, constraining how new renewable capacity is added. Community pushback on the available options is also significant. Accelerator will help PNM develop a strategy to improve the conversation around energy started by the IRP results, validate or change the direction of the IRP, and build relationships within affected communities and elsewhere, in order to facilitate a more than 30% renewable energy supply.
Progress Made to Date (pre-Accelerator)
- 2017: PNM completes IRP
- 2017: 2 generating units at San Juan shut down, additional units to be closed 2022
Project Background Information
Coming into Accelerator, the team proposed to explore a process to enable PNM to reach greater than 30 percent renewable penetration with a view of 100 percent penetration in the near future. To fulfill this ambitious proposal, the team mapped the current energy landscape in New Mexico to create a shared understanding of the potential opportunities and existing challenges for renewable growth. It became clear that a lack of trust and leadership within the energy landscape were the main barriers to increasing renewable penetration. At the same time, team members saw that they had a shared vision of New Mexico’s clean energy future.
Throughout Accelerator, the team worked together to prototype a statewide process to remove barriers to renewable growth and set a shared vision for renewables. The steps of this process include: building trust across stakeholders, elevating leadership, changing structures to ensure a more certain process, and facilitating a deeper understanding of the problem across stakeholders within the state. In the coming months, members of the team plan to work together to create an advisory board to engage and elevate political leadership on energy. They also plan to co-host trust building activities that build understanding in what could otherwise be one sided actions, and they plan to provide legislative recommendations to influence clean energy policy. Finally, they plan to host a vision setting workshop.