Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Mexico: Requesting Study of Regional Transmission Organization

Senate Memorial 54 was introduced in the New Mexico legislative session on Friday, February 25, 2011 requesting formation of a technical committee to consider functionality of a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) or like structure for New Mexico.  Specifically, the technical committee is directed to consider at least three options for an independent, nonprofit entity to plan and operate the regional transmission assets under its functional control and provide nondiscriminatory wholesale transmission service within its defined geographic region: 

            (A) all New Mexico public utilities joining an existing regional transmission organization that is contiguous with the state;

            (B) all New Mexico public utilities forming a New Mexico-based regional transmission organization; and

            (C) all New Mexico public utilities contracting with a third-party transmission coordinator to functionally control their transmission systems. 

In considering these options, the technical committee is directed to evaluate the following seven criteria: 

            (A) the cost to the state and its stakeholders, including rate payers, government agencies, independent power producers and public utilities;

            (B) the benefits to the state, including potential job creation, environmental impact, enhanced resource development, a more efficient regional planning process and improved ability to coordinate transmission development with the state’s energy vision;

            (C) the benefits of a centralized tariff administration, more transparent transmission scheduling and posting, congestion management, market monitoring, transmission planning, expansion and interregional coordination, ancillary services management and parallel path flow management;

            (D) the impact to each public utility’s interconnection queue;

            (E) the impact on each public utility’s wholesale operation;

            (F) the benefit of creating more robust interstate energy markets; and

            (G) any other costs and benefits appropriate to consider with respect to these options.

The technical committee is directed to report findings and conclusions to Governor Martinez and the New Mexico legislature no later than November 15, 2011.

A copy of Senate Memorial 54 can be located here:

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