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Advanced Energy United Statement on Nevada Public Utilities Commission Gas "Peaker" Plant Decision

Posted by Calista Thompson on Mar 14, 2023

Advanced Energy United expresses disappointment in Nevada Public Utilities Commission's decision to approve a new "peaker" plant for Nevada.

Washington, D.C., March 14, 2023 -  Today, national business association Advanced Energy United expressed disappointment with the Public Utility Commission of Nevada’s decision to approve NV Energy’s proposed gas-fired “peaker” plant in the utility’s 4th Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) amendment. This will be Nevada’s first new fossil-fuel electricity generation plant in approximately 15 years, otherwise at odds with the state’s move to clean energy. Every three years, utilities are required to comprehensively evaluate options to serve their customers’ needs at the lowest reasonable cost using a combination of supply-side and demand-side resources. But that same comprehensive analysis is not required for amendments, which can also receive expedited approval that makes it hard for intervenors and the Commission to examine the proposal to ensure that it is prudent.  

“This gas plant is only meant to run a few hundred hours a year, which means it will sit idle most of the time. But Nevadans will be paying for it on their monthly bills for the next 30 years, regardless of whether or not it runs,” said Sarah Steinberg, Director at Advanced Energy United. “NV Energy said itself that this option is not least cost. We are disappointed that the utility did not fully consider other, cleaner solutions, such as energy demand reduction, distributed energy, and storage, that could meet the same need, or even improve reliability and resilience, at lower cost.” 

“There are better and more cost-effective methods of meeting reliability concerns that were overlooked in this amendment,” said Gabriela Olmedo, Associate at Advanced Energy United. “Particularly when you take support from the Inflation Reduction Act into consideration, clean energy resources are clear money-savers. With a different strategy, NV Energy could lower customer bills instead of charging them hundreds of millions of dollars for a risky investment in an outdated technology.”  

“Unfortunately, amendments do not require the utility to compare all options. This rushed process gives short shrift to a decision that will lock in high capital costs and an even greater dependence on volatile natural gas for Nevada ratepayers for decades,” said Brian Turner, Director at Advanced Energy United. “And the expedited nature of this application put the Commission in a difficult position – with only a few weeks to evaluate the evidence, and under pressure to do something to address an energy pinch that should have been planned for in NV Energy’s last full IRP. A better solution likely could’ve been found with more time and more opportunity for stakeholder engagement. We hope to see this broken process fixed ahead of future IRP filings.” 

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Read our blog on NV Energy's 4th IRP amendment 


About Advanced Energy United 

Advanced Energy United educates, engages, and advocates for policies that allow our member companies to compete to repower our economy with 100% clean energy. We work with decision makers at every level of government as well as regulators of energy markets to achieve this goal. The businesses we represent are lowering consumer costs, creating millions of new jobs, and providing the full range of clean, efficient, and reliable energy and transportation solutions. Today, these businesses have a combined market capitalization in excess of $3 trillion. Together, we are united in our mission to accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy in the United States. 

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Topics: Press Releases, nevada