Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2014

Currently: 104° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

NV Energy loses bid to provide power to atomic testing site

NV Energy has lost its fight to retain the Nevada National Security Site as one of its biggest customers.

The state Public Utilities Commission has ruled the Valley Electric Association can start serving the needs of the former Nevada Test Site, which is about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

NV Energy, formerly Nevada Power, supplied the site for some 50 years. But the U.S. Energy Department decided to switch all of its power needs to Valley Electric, saving more than $200,000 a year.

The PUC on Friday ruled NV Energy “does not possess an exclusive right to serve the test site …”

It said the Department of Energy “is free to take electric service from VEA at any time.”

The Energy Department decided to get all of its electric service from the nonprofit Valley Electric of Pahrump. It signed a five-year contract with Valley Electric for $61.6 million.

NV Energy challenged the cancellation of its contract and sought to force the Energy Department to pay an exit fee.

Tom Husted, chief operating officer of Valley Electric, issued a statement Monday saying the challenge by NV Energy “was a retaliatory measure” and his association won the contact through an open bidding process.

Valley Electric has 45,000 customers and is building a 5.3-mile power line to supply the additional service to the site.

Both electric companies served a portion of the test site.

NV Energy argued that cancelling its contract would mean other customers will pay the cost of the facilities built to supply the electricity to the site.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 2 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. wow, where can I sign up for Valley?
    This is very disturbing..NV Energy argued that cancelling its contract would mean other customers will pay the cost of the facilities built to supply the electricity to the site.<<

    They had the contract for 50 years! maybe the customers should get a piece of the profit before they pay part of the expense.

  2. Wow, am I glad I moved to Pahrump! We're served by VEA at the new house.