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South Point files to leave NV Energy

NV Energy corporate headquarters as seen on Wednesday, November 22, 2017. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Another major Nevada gaming property has filed an application to leave NV Energy and purchase electricity from another provider, the eighth company to do so in 2018.

The South Point Hotel and Casino on Dec. 6 filed an application with the Public Utility Commission seeking to leave NV Energy and purchase power from a new provider starting on July 1.

It’s the latest in a rush of casinos and other major Nevada businesses that have sought to take advantage of a state law allowing larger power users to apply and leave NV Energy as a customer, if their exit is found to be in the public interest and if they pay a substantial “impact fee” to offset costs that would otherwise be paid by other customers.

South Point, a 24-story hotel and casino located in the southern part of the Las Vegas valley, gave few details in its application to leave beyond promising to comply with state law, including a provision requiring the company to sell NV Energy an additional 10 percent of the electricity it purchases from a new provider at the price it was bought. It said the casino’s new provider would likely be Exelon Generation Company, and that the property’s peak electric load was 10.63 megawatts (one megawatt is enough to power roughly 750 homes).

It continues a parade of businesses that filed to leave this year, including Boyd Gaming, MSG Las Vegas, a building supplies company north of Las Vegas, the under-construction Raiders stadium, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels and Station Casinos.

More exit applications have been filed in 2018 than in the last three years combined; Peppermill Resorts was the only company to file an exit application in 2017, and three exit applications were filed in 2016 (Peppermill Resorts, which withdrew its application, Switch and Caesars Entertainment) and 2015 (MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts).

The growing number of exits has prompted some entities, including a nonprofit backed by data center giant Switch, to question NV Energy’s resource planning strategy and to call on energy regulators to survey customers who could potentially exit on their future plans.

As of October, NV Energy estimated that it had 42 non-government and six government customers that would be eligible to file an application to leave the utility.

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