Gwynne Ann Unruh is an award-winning reporter formerly of the Alamosa Valley Courier, an independent paper in southern Colorado. She covers the environment for The Paper.

PNM concerns over a potential energy shortage leading up to the summer of 2023 has prompted them to issue a formal request asking energy developers to submit resource proposals. The proposals could add as much as 700 megawatts to the PNM system.

The San Juan coal-fired generating plant replacement plan selected by New Mexico Public Regulation Commission left PNM customers short 120 megawatts. PNM said the deficit has since increased as the third-party energy developers the Commission selected to replace the energy supply have been unable to deliver their new energy resources on time.

Delays in bringing four new solar facilities online to replace power from the coal plant were caused by supply chain delivery issues and are creating the expected shortfall. To cover energy needs, which could likely lead to rolling blackouts this summer, PNM has temporarily extended use of one of San Juan’s two coal-fired generating units through September 2022. The coal plant’s operation was scheduled to be shut down June 30 but the three months extension of its operation is expected to meet the shortfall in energy needs for the summer months this year.

Of major concern now to PNM is its ability to provide enough energy for 2023 summer needs if energy developers are unable to achieve the new solar resource additions on time. PNM could face capacity deficits of as much as 450 MW needed to reliably serve customers during the 2023 summer. The request for proposals is an effort to secure new capacity resources so it is able to serve customers by the 2023 summer if this happens.

An independent evaluator will assess the proposals for reasonableness, competitiveness, and fairness to identify the best options for reliable, low-cost energy delivered in an environmentally responsible manner. The request for proposals (RFP) will be managed through the PNM Sourcing site hosted by SciQuest, an affiliated entity of Jaggaer®.

In order to preserve transparency in the proposal process and facilitate equal consideration to all respondents, bidders must not contact any PNM employees or agents of the company in regard to this RFP. The Instructions to Bidders for the RFP are provided as non-confidential documents on the PNM websites identified below:

A Virtual Pre-Bid Conference and EPC Site Visit is scheduled for: June 1, 2022. Proposals are due by July 19, 2022. Interested parties are requested to execute a non-negotiable, non-disclosure agreement by logging in and clicking the “Accept” button in the NDA section of the Jaggaer RFP event. Access to the Bid Documents will be granted upon acceptance of the non-disclosure agreement.