Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves PNM Resources-Avangrid merger

Published on June 01, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the proposed merger between PNM Resources and Avangrid.

The merger would create a larger, more diversified regulated utility and renewable energy company with electric and gas utilities in complementary geographies. The combined company would serve more than 4 million electric and natural gas customers across New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Texas.

PNM Resources, based in Albuquerque, N.M., provides electricity to approximately 800,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas. Avangrid is the third-largest wind operator in the U.S., with more than 7.4 gigawatts of installed wind and solar capacity. The combination provides a platform for Avangrid to expand its renewables business in the Southwest beyond its existing 1.9- gigawatt capacity wind projects in New Mexico and Texas and 200 megawatts of wind and solar capacity in Arizona.

The scope of the combined business results in a greater ability to invest in energy efficiency and new technologies.

The merger has now received six approvals from various regulators. The only remaining approval is from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC). PNM and Avangrid are hopeful the NMPRC will commence public hearings on the proposed merger stipulation in June.

“The merger has won these approvals by showing the benefits of our companies joining,” Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources’ chairman, president and CEO, said. “We are also pleased that as these approvals come in, we have also garnered the support of 2 additional parties to our stipulation in the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission case, bringing the total to 13 parties supporting the merger.”

The PNM customer benefits in the merger stipulation include $50 million in customer rate credits over three years; $6 million in COVID arrearages relief for residential customers; $15 million for low-income customer energy-efficiency assistance; and $2 million to bring electricity to low-income, remote customers.

It also creates over $250 million in economic development for New Mexico: 150 new full-time jobs over three years; $7.5 million in additional economic development funds; and $12.5 million in economic development contributions to community groups in the Four Corners region over five years.