El Paso Electric seeking RFPs for renewables to serve New Mexico market

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El Paso Electric is making an all-source request for proposal to acquire new short- and long-term generation and renewable energy for its New Mexico customers.

The Texas-based utility wants to obtain renewables to meet New Mexico’s rising portfolio standard, which will require that 40-percent of in-state sales be supplied by clean energy resources beginning in 2025.

EPE’s initial resource planning studies project a New Mexico capacity need of approximately 40 MW in 2022 increasing to 90 MW in 2024. New generation is also necessary to offset EPE’s planned retirements of older, less-efficient generating units.

The utility also anticipates the need for a long-term resource to generate approximately 175,000 MWh per year of additional renewable energy by December 2024.

“Unlike many other electric utilities around the country who have leveled out when it comes to their customer base, we continue to experience a two percent customer base growth rate year-over-year, which inevitably leads to an increase in energy usage and customer demand,” shares President and CEO Kelly A. Tomblin. “It is our commitment to continue to meet this growing demand cost effectively and with the service and reliability that our customers and community have come to expect and deserve.”

Prospective bidders for EPE’s All Source RFP have until August 31, 2021, to submit an intent to bid. EPE provides generation, transmission and distribution services to nearly 450,000 retail and wholesale customers in the Rio Grande Valley region of west Texas and southern New Mexico.

The El Paso company currently owns about 1,468 MW of nearby gas-fired generation and more than 100 MW of solar power capacity. The utility also imports 622 MW of owned capacity from the Palo Verde Generating Station nuclear plant in Arizona.

That Palo Verde power is delivered via 345-kV transmission lines. The plant is operated by Arizona Public Service.

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