Clark County School District may pull the plug on NV Energy

Clark County School District administration building located at 5100 West Sahara Ave. in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph

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The Clark County School District could be the next big electricity consumer to pull the plug on NV Energy.

On Thursday, the School Board is set to hear a presentation from Capital Dynamics, an independent global asset manager, to discuss a solar energy project that could means millions in “potential energy savings” for the district. The item was brought forward by the district’s chief operating officer Rick Neal.

The proposal, posted online on the district website, is touted as a “simplified solution” to the district’s energy needs.

Capital Dynamics would handle the exit applications with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and would pay any exit fee to NV Energy if its withdrawal was approved.

As part of the agreement, Capital Dynamics would also agree to build a new 195-megawatt solar project in Nevada. Tenaska Power Services would manage the energy from the grid and Switch, a Las Vegas-based technology infrastructure company, would provide the power supply origination and development support, according to the presentation.

The district could realize savings in two ways, according to the proposal.

It could take a multi-million-dollar lump sum payment if the commission approves its exit from NV Energy, or it could realize such savings over a number of years.

Electricity is the largest utility cost in the district, according to the presentation. In 2016-17, electricity was 57 percent of all utilities and cost $46.2 million.

“CCSD has been approached about utilizing renewable energy for a significant cost savings,” district spokeswoman Kirsten Searer said in a statement. “We are always happy to consider ideas on how we can save taxpayer dollars and invest more in our classrooms.”

A number of private companies have left NV Energy, including MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, as have a handful of other government entities, including the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.

Switch became the first company in years to file an exit application with the PUC in 2014, ultimately paying a $27 million fee to leave the NV Energy system and purchase energy on the open market. Other gaming properties followed suit.

NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht said the company had only received the information on Friday and was analyzing it. She had no further comment.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter. Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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