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Sean Whaley

Gaming companies want exit requests from Nevada Power reconsidered

18 December 2015

CARSON CITY — All three Las Vegas gaming companies that won approval from state regulators earlier this month to leave as customers of Nevada Power Co. have asked for reconsideration of the decisions.

The requests for reconsideration were filed with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts. The requests were posted on the PUC website on Thursday.

The PUC has 40 days to grant or deny the petitions. If the PUC takes no action, the petitions are deemed denied. The companies could then appeal the Dec. 2 decisions to Clark County District Court.

The PUC earlier this month gave approval to the gaming companies to leave as customers of Nevada Power, but exit fees were imposed to protect remaining Nevada Power customers. Nevada Power is part of NV Energy.

The fees approved by the commission total $86.9 million for MGM, $15.7 million for Wynn and $23.9 million for the Sands, plus recurring fees and charges to recover certain ongoing costs that cannot currently be quantified.

In comments after the applications were granted, casino operators balked at the undetermined nature of some recurring fees and a separate ruling could deny the companies access from acquiring energy from the wholesale market. NV Energy often sells excess energy to wholesalers and the gaming companies were prohibited by the PUC from acquiring excess power from NV Energy.

In its filing, the Sands said the exit fee and other conditions "effectively denied" the exit application. The company said conditions imposed in the final order "are based on unlawful, unreasonable and erroneous conclusions of law, and harm consumers by blocking retail electric competition in Nevada and perpetuating NV Energy's monopoly over power supply."

Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said after the ruling that the company was "disappointed in the PUC's order and their apparent desire to put out-of-state big money interests ahead of Nevada ratepayers and their families."

The Review-Journal is owned by a limited liability corporation owned by the family of Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.
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