A long simmering battle in southern Nevada has culminated in the Public Utility Commission dismissing a complaint NV Energy had filed against Valley Electric Association in regard to a $36 million contract for energy distribution at Creech Air Force Base.
The Defense Logistics Agency awarded the contract to VEA on Sept. 28, 2012, and VEA began providing distribution services to Creech Air Force Base — the home of most remotely-piloted aircraft systems — on June 1, 2013.
NV Energy filed the complaint in January, alleging VEA’s federal contract violated four provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes, including interfering with NV Energy’s system and operating a public utility without a certificate of public convenience and necessity within NV Energy’s exclusive territory, in addition to other allegations related to duplicating service and providing service to non-members.
By dismissing the complaint Wednesday, the PUCN found that VEA did not violate any of these statutory provisions. Valley Electric maintained it is not a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the PUC. The association is owned by its customers.
In its ruling, the Public Utilities Commission said Valley Electric does not resell or meter the power and is not reimbursed by the amount of electricity that flows through the delivery system. It said there is no need at this time to require Valley Electric to get approval of the PUC.
In April, the PUC also denied a petition put forth by NV Energy in response to VEA’s $62 million contract to provide electric service for the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). This contract had previously been held by NV Energy.
Valley Electric Association Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 45,000 consumers in southwestern Nevada.