The state’s largest electric utility is appealing a recent decision by regulators to reject a proposed merger with a U.S. subsidiary of global energy giant Iberdrola.
PNM Resources announced that it filed its notice of appeal with the New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday.
Company officials reiterated in a statement that they believe the multibillion-dollar merger with Avangrid would be in the best interest of the state. Being backed by Avangrid and Iberdrola would provide the New Mexico utility greater purchasing power and help move it closer to its carbon-free goals.
“If we did not believe this was right for New Mexico, we wouldn’t keep pursuing it,” PNM Chair, President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn said in a statement. “We are merging with a company that is making a commitment to New Mexico beyond just a financial transaction.”
The Public Regulation Commission in its recent decision to turn down the acquisition focused on concerns about Avangrid’s reliability and customer service track record in other states where it operates.
The elected commissioners also pointed to the company initially withholding information during the lengthy proceeding, a move that resulted in a $10,000 penalty.
Under the proposal, Connecticut-based Avangrid would have acquired PNM Resources and its two utilities — Public Service Co. of New Mexico and Texas New Mexico Power. The all-cash transaction was valued at more than $4.3 billion and would have opened the door for Iberdrola and Avangrid in a state where more wind and solar power could be generated and exported to larger markets.
As part of an advertising blitz, the utilities had touted more than $300 million in benefits that included rate relief for PNM customers for three years, economic development investments, the creation of 150 jobs and other concessions reached through negotiations with parties in the case.
The companies will have 30 days to outline their arguments, but it’s unclear how soon the court could act on the appeal.
Originally published by The Associated Press.
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