Articles from New Mexico
Craig Johnson, a State Land Office auctioneer, supervised the bidding on the steps of the Torrance County courthouse. The outcome, however, was a foregone conclusion, in that Pacific Wind Development was the only bidder to submit the required documents – and nearly $89,000 in deposits and fees – before the 4 p.m. cutoff on Sept. 13.
State regulators voted unanimously Wednesday to cancel a planned public hearing next week over a controversial rule that defines and caps the costs of renewable energy to public utilities and their customers. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission also voted to launch a whole new rule-making for the so-called reasonable cost threshold.
If another golden eagle is killed a Technical Advisory Committee - comprised of biologists from federal and state agencies - will meet and make recommendations to the BLM about what mitigation to take, which could curtail operation of turbines or even shut down turbines. The federal government's disparate treatment of various industries whose operations have resulted in the deaths of eagles or migratory birds has become an issue of late.
The Public Regulation Commission's utility staff had concerns with the rule from the moment the PRC approved it in December. ...PRC attorney Rick Blumenfeld convinced four of the five commissioners on Wednesday that the rule as written will hide the true cost of renewable energy to customers.
PJM Interconnection said in a release on Wednesday that grid conditions had changed since the 765-kilovolt, 275-mile PATH transmission line extending from West Virginia to Maryland was proposed by American Electric Power and FirstEnergy in 2007. "Our updated analysis no longer shows a need for the lines to maintain grid stability," PJM said.
Five large-scale transmission projects are in varying planning and development stages around the state. Together, they could provide enough capacity to transport more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity to western markets ...But none of those projects will come on line until at least 2015, and most will take longer.
While the PRC acknowledged PNM's plan meets state law, Chairman Jason Marks said the question becomes whether an elected commission, trying to diversify the state's energy supply, has the discretion to order a utility to revise its business practices.
The commission, led by Democrat Jason Marks, said it would not accept more paper certificates from PNM. It wanted wind power. ...PNM executives say they were following the law, and should not be ordered to change course to suit the commissioners' desires.
Patrick Lyons, a Republican who chairs the commission, said he would oppose additional state requirements for solar production by private companies. Lyons said alternative energy sources must be increased, but the state would be out of bounds to tell a private company where to invest its money.
PRC staff and Western Resource Advocates argued that the solar energy from those projects can't be used for both the voluntary Sky Blue program and to meet the renewable-energy portfolio standards. "PNM was asking to cannibalize the renewable-energy standards with their voluntary program."
Steve Elliott, president of the Corona Landowners Association, told county commissioners the group, whose members own the land targeted for installation of wind turbines to generate power, are pleased with the modified ordinance version, compared to the much longer initial draft.
New Mexico's largest electric utility is seeking a waiver from regulations that require the use of more renewable energy, saying it won't be able to comply next year without exceeding cost thresholds designed to protect customers.
Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is making good on campaign promises to drop new regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions as well as other controversial rules passed in the waning days of the previous administration. ...The order also directs agencies to review rules and regulations that are in place and determine which ones should be scrapped to improve economic development and job growth.
The EPA's Region 6 office, based in Dallas, said the rule issued under the Clean Air Act would reduce the number of days that San Juan visibly impairs views by 80 percent. The proposed rule was prompted in part by concerns about haze at Mesa Verde National Park in Southwest Colorado, designated a "Class 1" area that receives special protection according to the Clean Air Act.
Dismaying many in the audience of more than 50 people, the commission on Monday rejected a three-mile setback for turbines that a county task force had proposed. That was the biggest issue in the task force's proposed wind ordinance. Commissioner Nicolas Leger proposed cutting the setback to a half mile ...The commission quickly approved his proposal.
The San Miguel County Commission Monday backed away from a proposal to mandate that all wind energy turbines in the county be at least three miles away from any residence. On a motion from Commissioner Nicolas Leger, the commission instead adopted a much smaller setback requirement for wind farms -- a half-mile.
Portales Mayor Sharon King was a member of the JLUS policy committee. She said many of the concerns brought to the committee were from landowners whose property lies around the base or range. "They were mainly concerned about their land or intrusion on their land. Especially with building wind turbines. The number one concern is height restrictions," King said. "That concern came up at every meeting."
At issue is whether land owners may place windmills in San Miguel County, New Mexico including near the town of Cerritos, New Mexico. The Board of County Commissioners heard final testimony December 14th, 2010, about where in the county, if anywhere, windmills may be placed. Angry neighbors and even students showed up to protest the windmill project.
Scientists and residents of San Miguel County dueled for hours Tuesday night over an ordinance to govern development of wind energy facilities, with the San Miguel County Commission ultimately postponing any action until next week.
A proposed wind farm by Chicago-based Invenergy, on mesa-top trust land leased from the New Mexico State Land Office, prompted an immediate backlash from nearby villages and a call for more space between the farm and private homes. The residents living near and on Bernal Mesa, where the wind farm is proposed, want a three-mile setback from the closest residences.