New Mexico targets 7GWh of new energy storage by 2034


The Senate of New Mexico has passed a bill, which will require investor-owned utilities to have 2GW/7GWh of energy storage online by 2034, the second such move by a US state this week.

The upper house of the State legislature passed Senate Bill 456 by 25 votes to 11 earlier this week (13 March). It will now go the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee (HENRC), part of the House of Representatives.

The Bill, which has an effective date of 1 July, 2023, entails amending the state’s Public Utility Act to include an energy storage deployment target.

Specifically, the Bill reads, the state will target 1,000MW/3,500MWh of energy storage deployments by December 31, 2028, and an additional identical amount by the same date in 2033, meaning a total of 2,000MW/7,000MWh online by 2034.

The figures have changed slightly from the first version of the bill, which mandated energy storage capacity targets of 4,000MWh and 8,000MWh for each date respectively. That means the average duration being targeted has gone from four hours – what the California ISO requires for projects to provide capacity through its Resource Adequacy framework – to 3.5 hours.

“The amount of energy storage capacity that an individual qualifying utility may be required to procure or deploy by the commission (New Mexico Public Regulation Commission), as part of the statewide energy storage target set forth in Subsection A of this section, shall be determined by the commission,” the Bill said.

The Bill’s stipulations around energy storage deployments apply to the state’s three investor-owned utilities, which serve 73% of the New Mexico population: Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), El Paso Electric (EPE) and Xcel Energy. They do not apply to smaller electric cooperatives regulated under the Rural Electric Cooperative Act.

It also provided a broad definition of energy storage which opens up the market to a range of technologies, defining it as: “…commercially available technology that is capable of retaining energy,
storing the energy for a period of time and delivering the energy after storage by chemical, thermal, mechanical or other means”.

Large-scale battery storage projects in the state so far have tended to be four-hour systems. PNM is planning to procure the energy from a co-located 150MW/600MWh project from DE Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI), which was expected to come online last year although no announcement has been made. A year ago, technology firm Honeywell announced it would deploy a 20MW/80MWh lithium-ion battery storage project for a PNM solar farm.

The move by the New Mexico Senate follows hot on the heels from the lower house in Michigan proposing its own legal energy storage target, of 2.5GW of deployments by 2030.

See the Senate Bill 456 as it was passed this week in full below.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website. Reporter Cameron Murray will be attending both days.

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