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The Venetian strikes deal to remain with NV Energy

Updated May 13, 2019 - 9:58 pm

Four years after Las Vegas Sands Corp. first applied to leave NV Energy and six months after they were on opposing sides of the most expensive ballot question campaign in state history, the two companies have reached a long-term deal to supply energy for The Venetian.

NV Energy announced Monday that the two companies have recommitted to a partnership that advances renewable energy at the resort.

George Markantonis, president and chief operating officer at The Venetian, said the two companies will work together on environmental initiatives.

“The team at NV Energy took a significant amount of time to listen to our concerns, understand our future business needs and sustainability goals,” Markantonis said in a joint statement from the two companies. “The Venetian looks forward to a long partnership with NV Energy.”

Doug Cannon, president and CEO of NV Energy, said the company is committed to meeting the resort’s energy needs.

“At NV Energy, we recognize that we must spend more time listening to what our customers tell us they need versus assuming we know what is best,” he said in the statement. “I’m thrilled that we were able to reach an agreement and at the same time, move our business relationship forward with such a valued customer.”

In 2016, Sands became one of the first companies to explore leaving NV Energy. Since then, six companies have officially departed the utility to pursue more renewable options and cheaper rates. Barrick Gold Corp. was the first to leave in 2005.

Sands decided to stay with NV Energy after the state Public Utilities Commission said the company would have to pay a $23.9 million exit fee — an amount of money NV Energy and the PUC seek because they claim companies that exit the utility place increased costs on remaining customers.

The two companies were also at opposing ends of Question 3 during the 2018 election. The ballot measure aimed to create a competitive, open energy market.

NV Energy spent $63 million last year to defeat the ballot question and preserve its monopoly. Sands donated more than $20 million to the campaign to pass Question 3.

Since voters rejected Question 3 in November’s election, NV Energy has announced plans for $100 million in rate cuts. NV Energy also hopes to roll out a new rate option for government entities and large, commercial customers that’s both cheaper and solar-based, according to documents filed with the PUC.

NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht said she was not able to offer additional details.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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