Boyd Gaming Corp. was approved Wednesday to power its 10 Las Vegas-area casinos with a provider other than NV Energy.
The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada determined Boyd would have to pay a $10.7 million impact fee if the company follows through with the departure. The PUC and NV Energy seek impact fees because they contend that departures from the monopoly place increased costs on remaining customers.
When calculating the impact fee, the commission included Boyd’s plans to expand the Fremont hotel and casino “to protect remaining ratepayers and the public interest.”
“The Fremont Hotel project has received all of the necessary local approvals and needs only final board approval,” the commission said in its PUC filing.
Boyd spokesman David Strow said the company had no comment on the approval, but did offer some information about the Fremont expansion.
“We have some land at the Fremont that is available for development, and over the years we’ve periodically looked at options for developing that land. Given the strong results we’ve seen in downtown Las Vegas over the last several years, we have been revisiting these options to see if it makes sense for us to pursue an expansion of the Fremont,” Strow said in an email.
No final decision has been made regarding a possible expansion, he said.
Boyd is one of the largest casino entertainment companies in the country, as it owns and operates 29 gaming properties in 10 states, including the Fremont and Main Street Station in downtown Las Vegas. PUC filings show the company has an annual load of about 235,000 megawatts.
Boyd said in PUC filings that it is negotiating an agreement with Texas-based Tenaska Power Services Co. to use the company as its alternative provider. If Boyd follows through with its plans to leave, it would start taking service from Tenaska in October.
Six companies have departed NV Energy since 2005 to pursue more renewable options and cheaper rates.
Meanwhile, a number of companies have been making long-term deals with NV Energy in recent months, with many saying NV Energy is offering cheaper rates and more renewable resources. Additional details of the long-term agreements have remained confidential.
NV Energy spokeswomen Jennifer Schuricht said the utility will work hard to retain Boyd’s business.
“We’ve been able to retain our customers by delivering great value as the local energy partner that is dedicated to meeting their energy needs. We can provide the same type of value and benefit to Boyd Gaming,” she said via email.