- At least two large casinos in Nevada have paid millions to stop taking service from NV Energy and seek cheaper power on the open market, and now another major name may be looking to follow suit.
- A report at Smart Energy Decisions says Caesars Entertainment Corp. has asked state regulators to shop for power as well, following the examples of MGM Grand and Wynn Resorts.
- MGM is reportedly facing almost $90 million in exit fees to drop NV Energy's service; the company accounted for almost 5% of the utility's power sales.
Casino companies in Nevada are lining up to try their luck on the open power market, even if it means paying millions for the chance.
Smart Energy Decisions reports MGM is now taking power from Tenaska Power Services and Wynn went with Exelon. Caesars, in its applications with the Public Utilities Commission, said it would also like to purchase power from Tenaska.
Peppermill Casinos Inc., which operates a resort in Reno, has also asked regulators for authorization to leave NV Energy's service.
But leaving the utility's service will come with a price. MGM Grand in May agreed to pay almost $87 million in exit fees, and Wynn Resorts was facing $16 million. Las Vegas Sands had indicated interest in shopping for power as well, and would face a $24 million fee.
It has not all been simple, however. Over the summer, regulators rejected a request from a data storage company to leave the utility's service. Regulatory staff recommended the company, called Switch, be allowed to change — after paying an exit fee in excess of $27 million — but two of the commission's three regulators said they were unsure the amount was appropriate.
Switch is now suing NV Energy and the PUC, saying it was denied a fair chance to leave the utility's service and seek a cleaner power mix in open markets.