PUC to hear VEA air base dispute

Specific to the Pahrump Valley Occasions

CARSON CITY (AP) — Nevada state regulators have agreed to hear an effort by the state’s dominant electric utility to block a nonprofit consumer cooperative from contracting with the federal government to supply electrical distribution service at a U.S. Air Force drone aircraft base in Indian Springs.
The Nevada Public Utilities Commission rejected a request to dismiss NV Power Inc. claims that its rights to serve Creech Air Force Base are violated by a $ 23.six million contract the federal Defense Logistics Agency awarded last year to Pahrump-primarily based Valley Electric Association.
A spokesman for Valley Electric said Wednesday that NV Energy nonetheless supplies the electricity, although Valley Electric gives the transmission and distribution infrastructure.
The PUC on Tuesday didn’t quickly set a date for arguments on the concern of no matter whether a federal contract is outdoors the jurisdiction of state regulators.
Commissioner David Noble said  that disputed details want to be decided, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Noble also criticized the Defense Logistics Agency Energy for failing to turn more than data to NV Power as required.
Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a proposed state law this month that would have brought Valley Electric below PUC authority.
Sandoval said Assembly Bill 391 didn’t clearly define the PUC regulatory function, and may have opened the door to pricey legal battles that would hurt rural economies and the viability of rural electric cooperatives.
Creech Air Force Base, about 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is home to a squadron operating unmanned remotely controlled military Predator and Reaper aircraft over Afghanistan and elsewhere.

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