- NV Energy wants to provide new solar and battery storage energy for large customers without raising costs for others, the utility proposed in a tariff filed on May 4 with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN).
- The "Customer Price Stability Tarriff" (CPST) is a fixed-price energy rate for customers to support the addition of renewable energy to the grid without impacting other ratepayers. The program is crafted to meet the needs of large customers that would otherwise seek to leave the utility's service and purchase power on the open market.
- The Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary said the new pricing structure won't cost other ratepayers like residential customers. The Bureau of Consumer Protection is reviewing the filing — comments are due by June 30.
NV Energy has struggled in recent years to keep larger commercial customers within its service, as many fled to cheaper retail choice offers. But those exits began to slow last year as the utility began to offer more services in line with customers' desire for cheaper, cleaner power.
The CPST is intended to achieve the state's legislatively-set mandate to reach a renewable portfolio standard of 50% by 2030, along with additional carbon reduction efforts, during a time of economic recovery, according to the utility's white paper on the tariff.
NV Energy pitched the rate as a necessary way to advance clean energy infrastructure while speeding up the state's economic recovery, following COVID-19. "It is not known how long [businesses] will feel the impacts of this crisis," the utility wrote, adding that the uncertainty of large customers leaving the utility's service would increase the financial burden on smaller customers.
Gov. Steve Sisolak directed Nevada agencies to work on emissions reductions strategies for the highest emitting sectors in a November executive order. Also, at the end of 2019, the PUCN approved NV Energy's plan to add 1,190 MW of solar and 590 MW of energy storage.
The CPST would "change the nature of Nevada’s energy landscape for the better by allowing NV Energy the opportunity to continue to sell energy to large, higher-load factor customers through the development of large scale renewable projects in Nevada," according to the white paper.
In March 2019, the utility found customers interested in a program like the CPST made up about 3.1 million MWh of load.
The tariff subscription will be available for private or government customers that consume about 8,760 MWh per year. NV Energy proposed a five-year term for the CPST, starting in 2022. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission is expected to act on the filing on Nov. 30.
The CPST is one of four parts of NV Energy's broader approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. The utility also waived customer shutoffs and extended payment options, donated more than $1 million to nonprofits focused on public health and housing, and intends to file a $120 million rate reduction for southern Nevada customers in June, starting in 2021.