ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators have given the state's largest electric utility the go-ahead to build a $56 million natural gas power plant.
PNM says the La Luz Energy Center southwest of Belen will enable the company to maintain service for its customers in a cost-efficient way.
Utility officials say building the plant next to existing transmission lines and two major interstate gas pipelines will help keep costs down.
Construction is scheduled to begin later this year. It will be complete in early 2016.
PNM selected Wellhead Construction, Inc., through a competitive bid process to engineer and construct the plant.
Adding the gas plant to its portfolio will help as PNM looks for other sources of electricity in preparation for shutting down part of its coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico.