Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2014

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Utilities:

NV Energy plans to use $14.1 million to offset rate increase

NV Energy has sold 37 of its communication towers for $38.9 million and wants to use $14.1 million to hold down electricity rates in Clark County.

The utility says the towers were never built with money from ratepayers, but “it wants to apportion 55 percent of the total value of the transaction to customers.”

It has asked the state Public Utilities Commission for approval to use the $14.1 million to offset its expected rate increase sometime this summer.

NV Energy said it had four offers to buy the communication towers located on substation sites. It sold them in 2011 to Global Tower, LLC.

In addition, it will realize an escalating annual lease on the land that starts at $555,000 the first year. That will also be used to hold customer rates down.

The company said it had received annual lease payments of $2.6 million from the towers. That money was used to reduce general rates, said the utility.

“Nevada Power seeks a determination that the gain on sales associated with the transaction is 'significant' and that amortization of the gain should coincided with the effective date of Nevada Power’s next general rate case,” the company said.

The Public Utilities Commission said anyone wishing to file comments should do so before April 25.

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