San Juan Generating Station

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} San Juan Generating Station was a 1,848.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM Resources) near Waterflow, New Mexico.


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

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Public Service Company of New Mexico
  • Parent Company: PNM Resources
  • Capacity: 1,848.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 369.0 MW (1973), Unit 2: 369.0 MW (1976), Unit 3: 555.0 MW (1979), Unit 4: 555.0 MW (1982)
  • Location: County Rd. 6800, Waterflow, NM 87421
  • GPS Coordinates: 36.801667, -108.438611
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: San Juan Mine (Westmoreland Coal)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Units 2 and 3 retired in December 2017, Units 1 and 4 are scheduled for retirement in 2022.

Unit closures

Units 2 and 3 were closed in December 2017.[2] 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.[3]

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 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).[4]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.

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.[6]

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