Update: PNM files for rehearing of PRC’s decision to have Facebook pay

Director of Corporate Communications Ray Sandoval told The Independent that PNM filed for a rehearing with the Public Regulatory Commission today, April 29, following a recent decision by the commission that PNM should charge Facebook $39 million to construct a new substation and transmission lines.

In its statement, PNM now states that the cost of the BB2 project would be offset by revenues from Facebook and result in “over $21 million in customer savings.”

PNM Senior Vice President of Public Policy Ron Darnell said, “During the PRC hearing [we] did not clearly explain how this project upgrades our transmission system for the benefit of all of our customers.” He added, “PNM must take responsibility for the confusion and move forward.”

The PRC found that the retail portion of the upgrade cost should be recovered from Facebook because it is the only customer requiring the greater capacity following the installation of renewable energy generation to meet the needs of Facebook’s new Los Lunas facility, according to Carolyn Glick, the PRC’s attorney and hearing examiner.

Glick said PNM can ask for a rehearing without providing new, relevant facts.

The wind generated electricity from Torrance County will soon exceed the current capacity of electrical substation BB and its accompanying transmission lines, according to Glick’s recommendation to the PRC.

PRC Chair Valerie Espinoza said it is the responsibility of the PRC to protect residential ratepayers from carrying a financial burden created by Facebook.