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Assembly panel debates NV Energy's new plant bill

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Updated: 5/28/2013 8:15 am
CARSON CITY (KSNV -- NV Energy officials are asking lawmakers to authorize a plan they call "NVision.” It's an aggressive renewable energy plan that will shut down every coal plant in the state and replace those plants with renewable ones.

An Assembly Committee is taking on the company’s renewable energy plan.

This plan will cost the ratepayer. NV Energy guesses this plan will come with a 3 percent increase on energy bills over the next 20 years.

Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick wants assurance it's not a penny more because she's seen that trend before.

NV Energy says they're confident with the 3 percent rate increase figure, but lawmakers' concerns go beyond the rate increase. For instance, will NV Energy contract with local workers when it builds the renewable plants?

And what type of energy will the utility go with? Right now, there is no commitment to one type of renewable source.

Sen. Kelvin Atkinson is sponsoring the bill. While he recognizes it is a huge undertaking that will affect every Nevadan who pays an energy bill, Atkinson says the work on the bill has not been done in a vacuum.

Right now the Public Utilities Commission has to approve all rate hikes. This plan would allow NV Energy to increase the rate without initial permission. PUC would only be able to act retroactively.

Also noteworthy is that Gov. Brian Sandoval has gone on record saying he supports this plan. That is very unusual because typically the governor never takes a position on a bill until it makes its way to his desk.



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