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Sands, NV Energy bury hatchet, announce 'long-term energy supply agreement'

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder

Five years after it became one of the first companies to apply to leave NV Energy and after spending millions on a ballot question targeting the utility, the Las Vegas Sands has announced it will enter a long-term partnership with the incumbent utility.

In a joint press release sent late Monday, the two companies announced they had reached a “long-term energy supply agreement” and have “recommitted” to a partnership — signaling an end to the constant sniping and internecine warfare between the two corporate giants that had in many ways defined the state’s energy landscape for the last five years.

“The team at NV Energy took a significant amount of time to listen to our concerns, understand our future business needs and sustainability goals and ultimately, we determined that they are the best energy partner for us going forward,” Venetian Resort president and COO George Markantonis said in a statement. “The Venetian looks forward to a long partnership with NV Energy as we work together to continue our leadership in renewable energy and environmental sustainability for the benefit of the millions of visitors who experience our properties each year and our community as a whole.”

NV Energy CEO Doug Cannon said the company was “committed to meeting The Venetian’s energy needs and supporting their commitment to renewable energy.”

“At NV Energy, we recognize that we must spend more time listening to what our customers tell us they need versus assuming we know what is best,” he said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that we were able to reach an agreement and at the same time, move our business relationship forward with such a valued customer.”

The announcement likely marks an end to a contentious relationship between the two companies stemming from the Sands’ 2015 application to leave NV Energy under a little-used state law allowing large power users to depart the utility if they pay an impact fee to hold other customers harmless. Although other large companies, including MGM Resorts, Switch and Caesars Entertainment all successfully filed to leave the utility, the Sands decided against moving forward after it was assessed a $24 million fee to leave — something it called unjustified and meant to “perpetuate NV Energy’s monopoly.”

The Sands later became the primary funder of the Energy Choice Initiative, contributing $23.7 million to the ballot question that would have constitutionally ended NV Energy’s monopoly control of the state’s electric market. The ballot question was defeated with roughly two-thirds of voters against it, aided by NV Energy’s decision to spend an unprecedented $64 million fighting the ballot question.

Although the Sands did not have a pending application to leave the utility, two other companies — the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and Grand Sierra Resort — withdrew their exit applications last month.


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