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An Act Relating To Utilities; Amending The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Act To Clarify The Jurisdiction Of The Public Regulation Commission Over Projects Acquired Or Financed By The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority; Creating The Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Development Fund; Making An Appropriation.

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MOD HB 242

Legislative URL:
HB 242 on
Emergency Clause:
[7] HENRC/HAFC-HENRC [16] DP/a-HAFC [30] DP/a [32] PASSED/H (35-31) [23] SCONC/SFC-SCONC API.
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Related Legislators

Bill Sponsor:

Related Documents

HENRC Committee Report
HAFC Committee Report
Final House Vote
Fiscal Impact Report

This measure adds two new sections of law to the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Act. The first of those is a purposes section for the Act that sets forth these purposes:

  • “. . . to facilitate the development of renewable energy resources in New Mexico by facilitating the development and construction of transmission to service renewable energy generation facilities.”
  • “The focus . . . should primarily be on taking steps to develop and construct, or facilitate the development and construction of, eligible facilities through transmission corridors identified by the authority as priority corridors for development.”


The second new section creates a “renewable energy transmission authority development fund” to be used for “developing a multi-year, statewide transmission upgrade program, including the identification of priority corridors for development” and also allows funds to be transferred to RETA’s operational fund.

The measure also amends RETA’s optional power of eminent domain by removing the requirement that the taking of a property interest “does not materially diminish electric service reliability of the transmission system in New Mexico,” as determined by the Public Regulation Commission (PRC), and instead adds a requirement that the “project for which property or rights of way are acquired is constructed in accordance with the standards” of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) and the incumbent utility in New Mexico.

Finally, the bill amends the Act to clarify that the PRC does not have jurisdiction over facilities financed by RETA nor over facilities in transmission corridors identified by RETA as priority corridors for development.

A potentially positive benefit of the bill may be the clarification regarding the PRC’s jurisdiction. That clarification may reduce confusion over jurisdiction and make the process for eminent domain simpler. However, at the same time, that clarification may remove a level of oversight of the potential exercise of RETA’s power of eminent domain.

On February 6, 2013, the HENRC amended this bill to make the following adjustments:

  • The new “purposes” section is deleted in its entirety;
  • It takes out the exemption from PRC jurisdiction given in the original bill for facilities financed by RETA and facilities in transmission corridors identified by RETA as priority corridors for development. With the amendment, only “eligible facilities acquired” by NMRETA are outside of the PRC’s jurisdiction.

Outcome: HB 242 passed the House (35-31), and died in the Senate Conservation Committee.

Date of Summary: 1/28/13; Updated 2/7/13; Updated 5/17/13