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Farmington Spotlight

Posted on: March 4, 2019

City asks Legislature for 90 days to complete feasibility study

City asks Legislature for 90 days to complete feasibility study on application of carbon capture technology to keep San Juan Generating Station open

Senator Bill Sharer is offering today an amendment to SB 489, New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act, backed by the City of Farmington, San Juan County and Central Consolidated School District. The amendment as currently proposed, is asking for just 90 days to conduct a third-party study to determine the market and operational feasibility of constructing carbon capture technology (CCS) at San Juan Generating Station. San Juan entities have said they would support all measures currently included in SB 489 if they are granted just the 90-day window in the proposed time table to prove the feasibility. The installation of CCS would save over 1,000 jobs and extend the life of the plant. If installed, the proven technology would reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent, exceed the extreme CO2 emissions limits proposed in the Energy Transition Act (SB 489) and become a cleaner source of electricity than the combined wind, backed-by-natural gas replacement power proposed by PNM. The Senate Corporations Committee will vote on the proposed amendment this afternoon.

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett, strongly stated, “We are only asking for 90 days to see if we can create an extraordinary win-win-win for the real families whose livelihood depends on their job at the coal mine and SJGS, the local and state economies and for the environment.”

City Manager Rob Mayes added, “Preliminarily information suggests the installation of proven CCS technology is both economically and operational realistic at SJGS. We simply need the time necessary for our buyers to commission and pay for the independent feasibility study. If it’s not feasible, then so be it. But if it is, we have created a game changing opportunity for our state, region and potentially global environment.”

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