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Texas arm of utility merger gets green light

The Santa Fe New Mexican

May 7—A Texas panel Thursday approved a merger between a large New Mexico-based utility company and one from Connecticut.

A spokesman for PNM Resources, which oversees separate Texas and New Mexico operations, said the agreement will have no bearing on New Mexico customers.

PNM Resources serves New Mexico through the Public Service Company of New Mexico and Texas through Texas-New Mexico Power.

Connecticut-based utility company Avangrid seeks to blend both the New Mexico and Texas arms of PNM Resources into its company. PNM Resources also desires the merger. PNM spokesman Ray Sandoval said if the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission votes down the merger in New Mexico, Avangrid could back out of the entire plan or simply go ahead with Texas-New Mexico Power.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas gave the go-ahead Thursday to the Texas arm of the proposal. The Texas portion of PNM Resources has far fewer customers than that in New Mexico — 261,500 compared to PNM's 538,800. The merger proposal has met some resistance from organizations in New Mexico over financial, environmental and control issues. The two merger companies have overcome objections made by some but not all of the organizations.

PNM Resources CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn said through a news release she was pleased to win the nod from the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

"Today's approval in Texas is an exciting milestone and confirms that our merger is in the public interest," Vincent-Collawn said. "PNM Resources and Avangrid are eager to carry forward the commitments and future possibilities to our TNMP and PNM employees, customers and communities with the support of a stronger, combined organization."

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is in an early stage of considering the PNM-Avangrid merger.


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