New Mexico RPS goes back to the public for consultation

A proposed New Mexico renewables portfolio standard, which the state had hoped to approve last June, has been altered and sent back to the public for more comments. If approved, it will still require the state's electric utilities to buy 10% of their energy from renewables, but delays the target date from 2007 to 2010 and exempts rural electric co-operatives. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission made the changes at the request of the utilities. They were worried that the 2007 date would force higher retail electricity prices in the state. The new proposal also requires utilities to file their plans to meet the new standard by July 2003 and to acquire a 4% share of renewables by January 2004 and a 7% share by January 2007. It also sets a limit on any one type of renewable energy resource to 50% of a utility's portfolio, establishes a price cap that allows a utility to opt out of buying a renewable resource if its system costs rise unduly as a result, and introduces a system by which utilities can demonstrate they have obtained the required number of credits to meet the targets.