Casinos Look to Cut NV Energy Ties

A few of the larger casinos on the Las Vegas Strip are looking to follow computer giant Switch, and leave NV Energy for wholesale providers of energy.

Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have sent letters to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, announcing their intention to purchase power from a “qualified energy provider.” The letters of intent would see the companies leave Nevada Power, and its parent company, NV Energy.

Las Vegas-based computing company Switch Communications made a similar filing back in November. Switch, in its filing, said it intends to move onto Exelon Generation Co., doing business as Constellation, for power. Most of the process put forth has remained confidential.

Concerns are present with Switch’s proposed “exit fee” calculations, which would “cause remaining customers’ bills to increase or would increase the cost burden on the utility,” according to Dan Jacobson, technical staff manager with the state attorney general’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Legislation from 2001 approved of such exits, as energy demands were so high, that costs followed. 14 years later, as electricity is much cheaper when acquired wholesale, large companies are utilizing the legislation for their own needs. The proposals will be made public in the next 30 days. The PUC has denied similar applications from Station Casinos, MGM and others.