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Las Vegas Casinos Bet on Competitive Power Vendors

October 6, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

Las VegasThe Wall Street Journal reports that Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp. claim that they would save millions of dollars by buying energy for their many casinos directly from solar farms, power plants and other competitive providers.

The local utility – NV Energy, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway – is trying to keep the casinos by making it expensive for them to change. The story says that the battle illustrates an increasingly common dynamic across the country. In all, 13 states allow consumers and businesses to buy power from utility competitors. The others don’t.

Thought it is a growing national trend, the story focuses on Las Vegas, where the conflict is greatest. The savings could be great. For instance, an executive from Wynn claims the casino could cut 40 percent of its energy costs — $7 million annually – by using alternative suppliers.

The issue is not new. In April, Caesars Entertainment said that it intended to buy power from competitive suppliers. The casino’s demand is 370 MW.

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