BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Councilors are holding a special session at 4:45 p.m. Thursday to vote on a statement of conditional support in a Public Regulatory Commission case between Public Service Company Of New Mexico (PNM) and Avangrid.
The agenda packet explains the situation as follows:
“MSR Public Power Agency, (MSR-Modesto Irrigation District, City of Santa Clara, and City of Redding) and Los Alamos County (LAC) have participated in joint settlement negotiations between Public Service Company of New Mexico (“PNM”) and Avangrid regarding the merger case No. 20-00222-UT before the NM Public Regulatory Commission.
“The discussion has been primarily focused on the decommissioning of the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) to include demolition and site restoration of the SJGS to avoid future cost liabilities to our rate payers. The current decommissioning plan is to retire the plant in place and through these negations MSR and LAC have drafted a settlement proposal to include ‘present feasible options for commercially reasonable actions, available under the terms of the SJGS contracts and consistent with the established decommissioning agreement, that would allow decommissioning options, including decommissioning, demolition and site restoration of the SJGS site to standards applicable to ongoing economic development, commercial and industrial uses of the SJGS plant site, at a cost comparable to the lowest reasonable cost alternative identified in the owners’ most recent decommissioning study that applies a whole-life cost analysis’.
“The benefit of entering a stipulation is the terms agreed to in this stipulation will have the force of contract. This negotiated settlement will allow for evaluating the cost of full demolition and site restoration as an option and whole-life cost analysis will be performed. Whole-life cost analysis is the cost of an asset from beginning to the end of life and to date this method of costing has not been used to evaluated full decommissioning costs. LAC and MSR feel this is an important part of this proposed stipulation.”
The recommented action for Council is to authorize County Utility Manager Philo Shelton to sign the statement of conditional support in substantial form and in consultation with the County Attorney’s office as presented and for Shelton to submit the statement in case and any subsequent stipulations.
Council and the Utilities Board are slated to meet in a joint closed session 30 minutes earlier at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.