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Brief History of Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative, Inc.

In March of 1939 seven local people filed with the New Mexico Corporation Commission to form a rural Electric Cooperative in the local territory to bring electricity to the rural area of Corona.  The seven people involved in the original incorporation were Benjamin H. Roberts and Frances Lovelace of Corona, James A. Garner of Carrizozo, Benjamin H. Roberts of Corona, A.E. Huntsinger and Archie Straughn of Vaughn, Alex Hindi of Duran, and B.C. Berryman of Cedarvale.  A small generation plant was built in Corona.

An electric distribution facility called the Vaughn Light and Power Company served the municipalities of Vaughn and Encino.  The franchise had been granted to the company in 1929 and by 1949 the system's equipment was in need of some serious maintenance work and was overloaded for the amount of existing consumers and as well as the projected growth in the future.

In Mountainair it is believed that electricity came to the city in 1928 by a franchise granted to Mr. T.L. Nunn.  Before that time, Pop Shaffer and other residents had generators to furnish electricity to their residences and businesses.  In 1929 Inland Utilities obtained all electrical utility rights in both Mountainair and Estancia.  Inland Utilities built a power plant in Willard and furnished electricity to Mountainair, Willard and Estancia.

In 1938, when the Rural Electrification Administration was formed, people in the Edgewood, Barton and Tijeras areas came together to get electricity to their rural areas.

By 1940 the Sandia Electric Cooperative had secured their first loan to construct rural lines, but they had no power source.  Albuquerque Gas & Electric Company made an offer to supply power and the Stonewall Electric Company was formed.  In spite of the pending war, electricity came to that area by 1942.

Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative Inc. (CNMEC) was incorporated on March 8, 1945.  After the official incorporation, CNMEC went to the Federal Government for low interest loans to fund the construction of lines to the people living in the area covered by our cooperative.  In March 1949 Central N.M. Electric Cooperative began the study to acquire the Vaughn Light and Power Company, and the Inland Utility.  The power came from generators at Willard, Vaughn, Corona and Encino.  Central N.M. Electric Cooperative, Inc. was energized in 1949 and is doing business as a not-for-profit cooperative.   In 1951 Central N.M. Electric Cooperative acquired Stonewall Electric Company and thus expanded lines into the Santa Fe County area.

In 1954 Plains Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Inc. was formed and Central N.M. Electric Cooperative along with other cooperatives in the state began to purchase power through Plains.  In 2000 Plains G&T merged with Tri-State Generation & Transmission.  CNMEC along with eleven other cooperatives in New Mexico began purchasing power from Tri-State headquartered in Westminister, Colorado.  Tri-State is comprised of 44 cooperatives located in Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico and is also a member owned cooperative.

CNMEC now has 19,424 services with 17,320 meters (monthly average billing). Also there are 4,279 miles of distribution line and 121 miles of transmission line in its service area.

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