San Juan Generating Station

From Global Energy Monitor

San Juan Generating Station is a 924.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Public Service Company of New Mexico near Waterflow, New Mexico.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Waterflow.

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Plant Data

Unit closures

Units 2 and 3 were closed in December 2017.[6] Units 1 and 4 are scheduled for closure in 2022, when the coal supply agreement expires. In March 2018 an explosion at unit 1 rendered it inoperable.[7]

Coal Retirement

In 2013, Public Service Company of New Mexico filed for approval to decommission two of the San Juan Generating Station's coal-burning stacks by 2017 (units 2 and 3), and install nitrogen-oxide emission reducing technology on the remaining two by 2016 (units 1 and 4).[8]

PNM plans to build a natural gas peaking station in San Juan County to generate 177 megawatts during high-demand periods, and a 40 MW solar generation station.[8]

On July 3, 2017, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) filed an Integrated Resource Plan with the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission (PRC) concluding that the Most Cost Effective Portfolio for the future operations of PNM includes the full retirement of San Juan Generating Station in 2022.[9]

In December 2017, Units 2 and 3 were retired. Since the shutdown had been planned since 2015, no layoffs were made due to the closure. Plans to close the remaining two units at the end of 2022 are approved. reported on November 13, 2020, that the San Juan Generating station would permanently close in June 2022 and will be replaced by 650MW of solar capacity and feature 300MW/1200MWh of accompanying energy storage divided over several projects in the state.[10]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 13,054,091 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 14,980 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 27,503 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 683 lb.
Coal Ash Contamination in New Mexico.


The plant's operator in April 2011 stated that the plant had outperformed proposed federal limits on mercury emissions. The coal-fired power plant's mercury emissions dropped to 66 pounds in 2010, down from 496 pounds in 2006 after a scrubber was installed at the plant.[11]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Form 10-k 2019, page 164", accessed June 2020
  2. "TEP Integrated Resource Plan" accessed June 2020
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Form 10-k 2015", accessed June 2020
  4. "San Juan Unit 3", accessed June 2020
  5. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  6. Megan Petersen, "Officials mull options as San Juan Generating Station closure looms," Daily Times, 22 December 2017
  7. Donovan Quintero,"Explosion reported at San Juan Generating Station," Navajo Times, March 19, 2018
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dan Schwartz, "PNM files to decommission San Juan Generating Station's two stacks: Company expects to hear ruling on filings by end of 2014," The Daily Times, December 27, 2013.
  9. "City of Farmington Announces It Will Initiate and Pursue Collaborative Efforts Toward Goal of Extending Life of San Juan Generating Station," City of Farmington website, Aug 1, 2017
  10. "EGEB: Solar and storage replaces New Mexico coal plant", November 13, 2020
  11. "Mercury no issue at coal plant" Chuck Slothower, The Daily Times, April 4, 2011.

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