Reno casino latest Nevada company to request exit from NV Energy service
- Peppermill Casinos Inc., which operates a resort in Reno, has asked the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada for authorization to leave NV Energy's service in search of cheaper power from an alternative provider.
- The Las Vegas Sun reports other casinos in the city are expected to follow suit. If regulators allow the casino to abandon the utility, it would need to pay an exit fee to help mitigate impacts to other customers.
- At least two casinos in Las Vegas have agreed to pay the exit fee and have had their applications approved. However, regulators denied a data storage provider's application last month, leading Switch to sue both the utility and commission.
Peppermill, a Tuscan-themed resort property near Virginia Lake, is the latest Nevada casino to seek a new power provider, but likely not the last, the news outlet points out. The Las Vegas Sun reports that Switch's lawsuit mentions three northern Nevada casinos are planning to leave the utility's service.
MGM Grand in May agreed to pay almost $87 million in exit fees to leave the utility's service in search of cleaner and cheaper power. Wynn Resorts will pay a $16 million exit fee as well. Las Vegas Sands faces a $24 million fee if it wants to continue with its bid.
Nevada regulators last month rejected Switch's request to leave. Staff had recommended the company be allowed to change service, contingent on a $27 million exit charge, but regulators voted 2-1 against that proposal.
The company is now suing over the denial, pointing to the social media presence of former PUC General Counsel Carolyn Tanner, who used a pseudonum to comment on the net metering debate. Switch's lawsuit alleges Tanner improperly influenced the commission's decision, denying the company legal protections.
The loss of the casino accounts is significant. The MGM casino alone accounts for almost 5% of Nevada Power's sales. MGM, Wynn and Sands consume about 370 MW of power, combined.
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