Thursday, October 21, 2021

Play

New research suggests ways to make the transition from education to career pathway smoother for young people, many of whom arenít landing the right job until their 30s; and Republicans block voting rights reforms for a third time.

Play

The White House scrambles to quell supply chain backlogs, Republicans block another voting rights bill, and a majority of Americans now believes the Supreme Court bases decisions on politics, not the constitution.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

NM's Public Regulation Commission Rushes to Approve Solar Project

Play

Monday, October 29, 2018   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A hearing for a proposed community solar project near Las Cruces is scheduled for next month, even after El Paso Electric attempted to withdraw its proposal.

New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission has put the hearing on its calendar, despite opponents' successfully arguing that the original proposal showed favoritism to the utility company over independent solar contractors. Mariel Nanasi, executive director of the group New Energy Economy, said when utilities are given an automatic advantage by the PRC, customers don't get the lowest price for solar energy.

"The law is, you're supposed to get the most cost-effective among feasible alternatives,” Nanasi explained. “Well, one of the other alternatives is to allow independent power producers to compete against the utility - and when they do, they're often much cheaper."

At a recent meeting, PRC Chairman Sandy Jones said he believed El Paso Electric's project was so important that no consideration should be given to proposals from independent solar companies. A 30-day application turnaround isn't typically considered feasible, but the hearing is scheduled for November 27.

Nanasi said she believes it's being rushed because three of the five commission members will not sit on the board by the end of the calendar year.

The solar farm would be similar to one that El Paso Electric operates in southwest Texas. It allows low-income and other customers to have their power supplemented by the solar farm, even if they can't afford or don't want home installation.

Nanasi said she thinks these types of projects should be embraced by the state, and that the PRC isn't acting in the public's best interest when it shows favoritism to a major utility. She pointed to studies showing that most solar generated through contracts with independent power producers is less costly than solar provided by utilities.

"When you are sitting as a commissioner, your whole job is to regulate on behalf of the public,” she said. “And yet, they want to approve it without even a hearing - the hearing has not even happened yet."

El Paso Electric's 20-year resource plan says solar projects from independent solar providers can be contracted at $21 per megawatt hour - one-third of what the utility itself is currently charging.


get more stories like this via email

California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia were selected for the REACH Collaborative for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …

Social Issues

HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …


Some labor experts estimate that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced annually by companies based in the United States. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the …

Social Issues

SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …

Advocates for Iowans with disabilities say the caregiver shortage could erase decades of progress in self-advocacy. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …

Environment

BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …

Social Issues

BOISE, Idaho - Millions of members around the world, including some Idahoans, are observing International Credit Union Day today. This year marks 73…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021