You’ve heard the radio ads and seen the full-page print ads. El Paso Electric touting the solar power from the Santa Teresa and Hatch arrays. You can even see the daily power output on EPE’s website.
But EPE never mentions that the Santa Teresa power costs EPE 12.745 cents per kWh, and from Hatch, the solar power costs 11.9 cents per kWh. That’s almost 2.75 times the “base fuel” cost of 4.396 cents per kWh. After applying this month’s Fuel & Purch. Power Cost Adjustment of minus 1.04 cents per kWh, that solar power is over 3.5 times what EPE pays for fuel. Bluntly, EPE is paying more for the wholesale power from solar arrays than they are charging residential customers for retail power. The only reason EPE has to buy triple-cost solar power is the NM Renewable Portfolio Standard.
What would you say if the philosophy of the NM RPS was applied to other industries? How about a law saying that NM farmers have to hire certain classes of workers, pay them three times the prevailing wage, and these workers only work when they want to, not when the farmer needs them? The farmer still has to get the harvest done on time, so he has to have other workers on standby for when these “special workers” take their unscheduled breaks. Well that’s wind and solar power in a chile pod, compliments of the NM RPS. And if you think that solar and wind is replacing coal power, it’s not. It’s replacing the most expensive fuel source: natural gas. Tell your legislators that we need to repeal this ridiculous law.
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