The Alamo Power District met July 18.
Dave Luttrell, the Lincoln County Power District Manager, gave a presentation on how Question Number 3, on the upcoming November 6 election ballot, was started. He explained how, if passed, the measure will affect Alamo Power.
The question reads, “Shall Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require the Legislature to provide by law for the establishment of an open, competitive retail electric energy market that prohibits the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity?”
In Luttrell’s presentation, it stated, “In lieu of a vertically integrated utility there will be companies that generate electricity, companies that own the high voltage transmission lines, companies that own the local distribution lines, and companies that are retail energy providers that sell the power to the final consumer.”
In the November 2016 election, the question passed in Nevada with 72.36 percent for and 27.64 percent against. In Lincoln County, those numbers were 54.69 percent for and 45.31 percent against. It passed in every county but White Pine. On November 6, if the vote passes for the second time, the Energy Choice Initiative will be required to go into effect by July 1, 2023.
Nevada is the only state that is trying to amend its state constitution to address Energy Choice in a manner that makes it more concrete. All of the other states that currently have Energy Choice have done so through legislation or regulation, and most of them exempted rural cooperatives and municipal utilities.
The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) reported on April 30, 2018, that this initiative, if passed, will most likely increase the average monthly electric bill for Nevadans in the short-term for the first ten years, whereas large commercial customers will see immediate benefits. The initiative will cost $100 million in startup costs and $45 million in yearly system operating costs. Net energy metering like rooftop solar will be negatively impacted. Nevada ratepayers will also be held liable for any financial losses incurred by Nevada Energy, which could add up to several billion dollars.
Texas, which has Energy Choice in place, has an average residential rate of $11.08 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The current average Nevada residential rate is $12.50 per kWh. The nationwide average of areas served by competitive retail providers is $15.46 per kWh. The average residential rate for Lincoln County Power District is $8.85 per kWh for 1,200 kWh.
Finally, approximately 60 percent of Lincoln County Power District costs are fixed, and 40 percent are power supply. The fixed costs will not change, however, people will buy your actual energy from a third-party business. Also, approximately 80 percent of the county’s power supply comes from Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam costs $20.19 per megawatt-hour (MWh). As of August 2018, the Mead Market Hub costs $42.25 per MWh which results in an increase of 43.7 percent in rates.
Areas of concern for residents include customer service, who is going to be the provider of last resort, local governance with rate settings, long-range planning, coordination with the retail energy provider, and instituting the change in a more permanent manner as part of Nevada’s state constitution.
Ken Maxwell gave the manager’s report. This past fiscal year ended with a gain of $73,000. Jobs completed included the Switch, Silver State Ag, tree clearance, pole change-outs, and the Twitchell upgrade.
Ongoing and upcoming jobs include the storage container arriving in August, Kellon Walch’s new home, yearly truck inspections, and filtering the substations. Robert Park will begin school again in August.
Also explained at the meeting was the outage on July 16, which involved the wind picking up a shade structure and blowing it into a pole.