NM Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) authorization for a new natural gas-fired power generating unit


Public Notice

On November 18, 2019, El Paso Electric Company (“EPE” or “Company”) filed its Application with the Commission for issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (“CCN”) to construct, own, and operate a new approximately 228 Megawatt (“MW”) natural gas-fired combustion turbine at EPE’s existing Newman Generating Station (“Newman Station”) in northeast El Paso, El Paso County, Texas.  Newman 6 is scheduled to be in service for the peak seasons of 2023. 

The estimated total cost of design, development, and construction of the new generating unit is estimated to be approximately $141.2 million.  EPE also estimates additional costs known as Allowances for Funds Used During Construction ("AFUDC") to be $ 18.2 million, for a total estimated project cost of $159.4 million for the new generating units. The Operating and Maintenance (“O&M”) costs are estimated to average approximately $4.8 million annualized maintenance cycle costs in 2019 dollars.   Once in operation, EPE intends that the fuel costs associated with Newman 6, together with any fuel savings that may be achieved, will flow through EPE’s existing Fuel and Purchased Power Cost Adjustment Clause.  EPE will seek base rate treatment of the capital costs and ongoing plant maintenance and operation expenses for Newman and related transmission facilities in a future general ratemaking proceeding.

EPE is certified and authorized to conduct the business of providing public utility service within the State of New Mexico and is a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under the PUA.

 Any interested person may inspect EPE’s Application filed in this case at EPE’s offices, 201 N. Water, Las Cruces, New Mexico, telephone number (575) 526-5551, or at EPE’s website http://www.epelectric.com/ or the Commission’s Records Management Bureau, PERA Building, 1120 Paseo de Peralta, P.O. Box 1269, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1269 telephone: 1-505-827-6968. Further information about this case can be obtained at the Commission’s website, http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us under “Case Lookup Edocket”. All inquiries or written comments concerning this matter should refer to Case No. 19-00349-UT.

Pursuant to NMSA 1978, Section 62-9-1 (2019), the Commission may approve EPE’s Application for a CCN without a formal hearing if no protest is filed within sixty days of the date that notice has been given that EPE has filed its Application.  Therefore, the formal hearing scheduled for this matter may be vacated upon further order of the Commission or Hearing Examiner.  The procedural schedule for this case is as follows:

  1. Any person desiring to intervene in the proceeding must file a Motion to Intervene pursuant to 1.2.2.23 on or before January 17, 2020.
  2. Any protest to EPE’s Application shall be filed on or before February 4, 2020, and shall state the grounds for protest.
  3. Staff shall, and any intervener may, file direct testimony by April 9, 2020. Alternatively, if a settlement is reached, a stipulation shall be filed by April 9, 2020, as well as testimony in support and any required supporting documents pursuant to 1.2.2.20. NMAC.
  4. Opposition to any stipulation pursuant to 1.2.2.20 B(2) NMAC shall be filed by April 14, 2020.
  5. Testimony in opposition to a stipulation shall be filed by April 21, 2020.
  6. Any rebuttal testimony shall be filed by April 28, 2020.
  7. A public hearing to hear and receive testimony, exhibits, and arguments and other appropriate matters relevant to this proceeding is set to commence at 9:00 A.M. on May 11, 2020, and continue thereafter, if necessary. The hearing will take place at the offices of the Commission, Ground Floor Hearing Room, P.E.R.A. Building, 1120 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Such hearing may be vacated if deemed not required under NMSA 1978, Section 62-9-1 (2005), in which case the Commission will take public comment and dispose of the Application at an Open Meeting.

The procedural dates and requirements provided herein are subject to further order of the Commission or Hearing Examiner.  The Commission’s Utility Division Procedures, 1.2.2 NMAC, apply to this case except as modified by Order of the Commission or the Hearing Examiner and they are available at http://164.64.110.134/nmac/home.     

Any interested person may appear at the time and place of hearing and make written or oral comment pursuant to 1.2.2.23(F) NMAC without becoming an intervener.  Written comments, which shall reference Case No. 19-00349-UT, may be mailed to the Commission’s Records Management Bureau at the address listed above. Such comments will not be considered as evidence in this case.

Any person whose testimony has been pre-filed shall attend the hearing and submit to examination under oath. See Rule 1.2.2.35(I) NMAC. 

Any person filing pleadings or testimony may file in person or by mail at the Commission’s address above and shall serve copies on all parties of record, Staff, and the Hearing Examiner at Elizabeth.Hurst@state.nm.us on the date of filing.  All documents emailed to the Hearing Examiner shall include versions in Microsoft Word or other native formats if available.

Any person with a disability requiring special assistance in order to participate in this proceeding should contact the offices of the Commission at 1-505-827-4500 at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of the Open Meeting.