NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – After years of debate, the Public Regulation Commission has a plan for what happens after the San Juan generating plant is shut down.

The commission voted to replace the station with 100 percent renewable energy when the power plant is retired in 2022. The commission says the decision will support 1,000 construction jobs and invest $1 billion into the four corners area.

“This historic decision will benefit communities and generations in the Four Corners region for years to come,” said Robyn Jackson of Diné C.A.R.E in a press release Wednesday. “By unanimously agreeing to an all-renewables replacement of coal power with solar and battery storage within affected communities and the Central Consolidated School District, economic relief and renewal is possible. This decision is a solid investment in community health and future economic sustainability.”

According to the same press release, Wednesday’s PRC decision will also stimulate the economy by hiring people for coal mine reclamation, improving property values with the decommissioning of the coal plant, and enhancing business opportunities in recreation, agritourism, and other sectors.

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