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26.2 PNM Solar Energy Participation

This indicator measures the number of customer accounts participating in PNM's Solar energy program.

This indicator is part of Sustainable energy.

Indicator description:

This indicator measures the number of residential and non-residential (business and government) customer accounts participating in Public Service Company of New Mexico’s (PNM) Solar energy program. It also measures the total kilowatt hours of electricity consumed by those accounts.

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Why is this indicator relevant?

Solar energy continues to be a long-standing alternative energy solution. In 2008, the APR reported on wind energy accounts offered by PNM. However, in 2012, updates to this information were not available from PNM. Wind-generated electricity has a much lower impact on air quality than power produced with fossil fuels. It does not produce by products than require long term, sophisticated, and expensive handling like nuclear production. Wind energy is renewable, clean, and non-polluting, emitting no air pollutants or greenhouse gases. It is reliable and its costs do not fluctuate. Initial costs of transitioning to wind power are high because of new infrastructure needs and integration issues, and a lack of familiarity and acceptance in the marketplace.

Data Sources:
PNM Resources, Public Service Company of New Mexico, 2008; American Wind Energy Association; DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

What can we tell from the data?

  • The total number of Albuquerque Sky Blue accounts has tripled since the end of FY/05 and now number over 10,000. As of June 2008, Albuquerque accounts make up about 55% of PNM’s total Sky Blue accounts.
  • The wind energy used by those Albuquerque accounts has increased five fold since the end of FY/05.
  • PNM could serve at least another 10,000 residential accounts with its current infrastructure (based on the lowest monthly wind energy output and assuming the average usage of existing accounts).
  • Given its average wind speeds and relatively unpopulated open plains, New Mexico has the potential to be a national leader in wind power.

 

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