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More casinos file to leave NV Energy's power supply service

Grand Sierra Resort Corp. and Las Vegas Resort Holdings LLC filed applications to buy power from independent suppliers instead of NV Energy Inc. in Nevada, joining an exodus of about 20 major businesses that filed such applications in 2018 and prior years.

Grand Sierra and Las Vegas Resort Holdings, the latter doing business as SLS Las Vegas, filed applications and amended applications Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, respectively, with the Public Utilities Commission.

Both companies have the same owner. Alex Meruelo and Meruelo Group LLC agreed to acquire SLS Las Vegas from Stockbridge Capital Group LLC on May 23, 2017, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Grand Sierra Resort operates as a subsidiary of Meruelo Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of Meruelo Group.

Grand Sierra Resort said in its application that it intends to get energy and capacity from Tenaska Power Services Co. beginning in October for its peak load of about 8 MW with an initial term of three years. The energy will be transmitted from the Midpoint substation in Jerome County, Idaho, and delivered to NV Energy subsidiary Sierra Pacific Power Co.'s transmission and distribution system. The maximum power delivered under the proposed transaction will be about 45,000 MWh per year.

The resort company will pay its share of system costs, including any reasonable impact fee the PUC determines, according to Nicholas Williams, a consultant with Brubaker & Associates Inc. who gave written testimony in support of the application. The transaction will free NV Energy's generating resources to serve other customers and help delay construction of new generation capacity for native-load customers.

Las Vegas Resort said in its application that it also wants to take firm energy and capacity from Tenaska for the same period as Grand Sierra Resort to meet a peak load of about 5 MW and will pay an impact fee to NV Energy subsidiary Nevada Power Co.

Tenaska Vice President Curry Aldridge said in written testimony that the power provider will provide renewable energy to Grand Sierra Resort and Las Vegas Resort to meet Nevada's renewable portfolio standard requirements and intends to use portfolio energy credits associated with above-market renewable facilities from NV Energy in addition to renewable energy purchased on the market to meet RPS requirements.

NV Energy is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.