[REGIONAL NEWS] Decision blindsides Facebook, New Mexico officials warn

A circuit board Zia symbol is one of the murals on the walls of the new Facebook Data Center in Los Lunas. /Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal

By Kevin Robinson-Avila/Albuquerque Journal

A state Public Regulation Commission decision Tuesday requiring PNM to bill Facebook for nearly half the cost of a new, $85 million transmission line could reverberate well beyond New Mexico’s borders.

State officials and economic development professionals say the decision could be seen as reneging on previous PRC commitments, causing a “chilling effect” on efforts to recruit more large companies to New Mexico like Facebook, which is building a massive data center in Los Lunas.

Facebook says the decision could affect its long-term operations in the state, raising costs and throwing into doubt Public Service Company of New Mexico’s ability to provide 100 percent renewable energy to run the facility.

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