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Renewable energy's cost worries gaming industry

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Updated: 4/26/2013 6:30 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A power company would be nothing without the people paying for the service. But what happens when your highest paying customer isn't happy?

NV Energy Senior Vice President Tony Sanchez said he knows he’s made a bold proposal. “N-Vision," as the proposal is called, would shut down every coal plant in Nevada over the next 10 years, replacing coal with all-renewable energy.

To the properties along Las Vegas Boulevard, power is king. But so is price.

“Can you imagine if the lights go out on the strip for an hour--just the millions and millions lost in economic activity-- that's why we take pride in being number on in country for reliability,” Sanchez said.

The resorts want to keep the lights on, but they're also worried about the predictability of the bill. In other words, if the bill passes, they don't want to see a huge spike that they would have to pass on to the customer

“We are working with the gaming industry and other large customers to address those concerns,” Sanchez said.

If the legislature signs off on the plan, NV Energy customer's bills will go up by at least 4-percent over the next 20 years. If you're MGM, and your power bills add up to $90 million per year, that kind of rate hike hurts.

Sanchez says that NV energy hopes to put the gaming industry at ease by continuing to work with The Public Utilities Commission, a regulatory group whose oversight would not go away under "N-Vision.”
Gaming also wants to keep the conversation Going. They haven't said no to NV Energy's plan, but they want to know how the shift would impact their bottom line.

Governor Sandoval is backing NV energy on the plan, which could give the bill a big push, but the Governor is also protective of the gaming industry.


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