Caesars Entertainment became the fourth major casino corporation that has announced its intention to attempt to leave Nevada Power and seek competitive power supplies, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The casino companies have a collective demand of 370 MW. The casinos, along with data storage company Switch, are relying on a 2001 law that allows companies to pursue independent energy supplies. However, there is concern that the companies’ departure could lead to rate increases for other utility customers.
The Nevada Public Utility Commission (PUC) is currently reviewing Switch’s application to leave Nevada Power to determine the size of the exit fee that the company must pay for leaving. Channel 8 News NOW reports that the PUC estimates that Switch should pay a fee of $27.7 million, while the company argues it should only pay $18.5 million. The fee is intended to cover Nevada Power’s investments into power plants and other infrastructure necessary to serve the company – costs that would otherwise be passed to customers that remain with the utility. Switch intends to procure, or invest directly, in cleaner generation, and ultimately to “become the greenest data center in the world. This decision could serve as precedent for the casino cases.