ORIGINAL REPORTING: Will Nevada Choose Choice Or Stability?
Nevada's retail choice battle will greatly impact solar, everyone agrees. But for better or worse? Nevadans will vote in November on whether to amend the state constitution to minimize regulations, eliminate legal monopolies and create retail choice in the state's energy market.
Herman K. Trabish, April 19, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The battle described here comes to a head November 6, with the No side slightly ahead in polls.
Huge financial interests are fist-to-fist in Nevada and the fate of residential electricity customers hangs in the balance. The fight is over Question 3, which would amend the state constitution, directing the legislature “to minimize regulations on the energy market and eliminate legal energy monopolies.” It is also called the Energy Choice Initiative, because it allows a competitive retail energy market in which customers would choose their electricity provider. Both sides of the fight agree this change could have a significant impact on the development of Nevada's enormous solar resource. But one side says it will stimulate development and the other side says development will be impeded.
Question 3 is backed by $2.35 million from Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. and $1.7 million from data center provider Switch, according to the Nevada Independent. NV Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) and Nevada’s dominant investor-owned electric utility, is Question 3’s leading opponent. It has pledged $30 million to defeat it. If Question 3 passes this fall, the legislature will be required to establish a competitive energy market that enables retail electricity providers (REPs) to assume the role now filled by NV Energy. The YES side says the new system is coming, and the legislature must design a market that protects clean energy policies and keeps rates low. The NO side says competition is likely to work well for large electricity consumers with financial clout but could leave small consumers without protections and propel the state into yet another fight over rooftop solar… click here for more
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