CARSON CITY – Assemblyman Howard Watts has voiced strong criticism against NV Energy, Nevada’s primary utility provider, for what he describes as flawed resource planning that leads to increased customer costs and a greater reliance on fossil fuels. This approach, according to Watts, runs counter to the state’s renewable energy goals.
Watts pointed out that NV Energy has repeatedly amended its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) without adequate regulatory scrutiny from the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC). These amendments, he observed, have introduced billions of dollars in additional assets not initially accounted for in the three-year IRP. The First Amendment alone proposed nearly $260 million in new power sources.
The Assemblyman’s concerns were amplified with NV Energy’s fifth amendment to its 2021 IRP, filed in January 2024. This latest proposal includes around $2 billion in investments, predominantly in fossil fuels. Watts warned that such amendments could lead to load and reliability risks that were not evaluated within the original IRP timeframe.
Moreover, Watts underscored the contradiction between NV Energy’s increased investment in fossil fuels and its stated objective of achieving 100% clean energy. This shift also stands at odds with Nevada’s policy directive to generate at least half of its energy from renewable sources by 2023.
In his call to action today, Watts advocated for a more robust IRP process and a resilient resource portfolio that aligns with state policies. He also suggested implementing a measure to eliminate the possibility of amendments to the IRP, which he believes are used by utilities to bypass regulatory oversight and maximize return on equity.
NV Energy has yet to respond to Assemblyman Watts’ remarks or address the public concerns over electricity costs and the company’s deviation from its previously approved IRP. The debate underscores a growing tension between energy policy objectives and operational practices within the state’s energy sector.
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