In addition to meeting the requirements of the state renewable portfolio standard, New Mexico's IOUs are required to offer customers a voluntary program for purchasing renewable energy. The voluntary renewable energy tariff may also allow consumers to purchase renewable energy within certain energy blocks and by source of renewable energy. IOUs are also required to develop an educational program communicating the benefits and availability of the green power option.
The three IOUs that serve New Mexico customers offer the following programs:
El Paso Electric (EPE)
EPE’s voluntary renewable energy program is called the “Renewable Energy Tariff Program.” It uses wind power from EPE’s Hueco Mountain Wind Ranch near Horizon, Texas. Customers can purchase energy blocks of 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh). The monthly costs per customer class are as follows: $5.84 (Residential), $4.26 (small commercial), and $5.48-$5.61 (commercial, general service).
Public Service Company of NM (PNM)
PNM’s program is called “Sky Blue.” The electricity that is part of this program is generated from wind (85%) and solar (15%). The wind is generated at the NM Wind Energy Center close to Fort Sumner, New Mexico and the sun from 22,000 solar panels in central New Mexico near Los Lunas. PNM offers two options for participating in Sky Blue: (i) buy 100 kWh blocks of electricity for a monthly cost of $1.70 more than the customer’s normal electricity charge or (ii) purchase Sky Blue kWh as a percentage (between 1% and 85%) of one’s regular monthly electricity cost with a cost of $0.017 per kWh used additional above regular electricity charge. The first option adds a fixed charge to the monthly bill while the second option adds a variable charge since it is based on a percentage.
For more information, visit the PNM program website.
Southwestern Public Service (SPS)
SPS’s program is called “Windsource®.” The energy is generated from wind farms in eastern New Mexico. Similar to PNM, there are two options that involve a fixed monthly charge for a premium of $3.17 per 100 kWh block for residential customers, $3.00 per 100 kWh block for commercial customers, or a variable monthly charge for up to 100% of a customer’s electricity use (~$25.36 month extra on the electric bill for the average Xcel Energy residential customer).
For more information, visit the SPS program website.
Rural Electric Distribution Cooperatives
The state's rural electric distribution cooperatives are also required to offer a voluntary green power program if their suppliers make such renewable resources available under their supply contracts. They are also required to report to the commission by April 30th of each year concerning the availability of renewable energy to them and the annual demand from their customers for renewable energy.