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Nevada PUC Formally Opens Electric Choice Investigation, Sets Issues, Schedules Workshop

October 12, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) formally opened Docket No. 17-10001 to investigate issues of public importance regarding the pending Energy Choice Initiative and the possible restructuring of Nevada's energy industry.

The docket has been opened pursuant to a request by the Governor's Committee on Energy Choice (GCEC) through a letter to the PUCN dated September 27, 2017.

As summarized by the PUCN, The GCEC has requested that the PUCN initiate the investigation to study the following issues:

1. Prospective timeline for the implementation of the Energy Choice Initiative

2. Amendments or repeals to any current Nevada laws, policies, or existing energy programs that may be necessary to establish an open and competitive electricity market in Nevada

3. Options reasonably available to Nevada in designing and establishing a wholesale electric service market, including, but not limited to, reliance on existing bilateral markets; establishment of contractual relationships and possible governance structures with multi-state independent system operators (ISO); and/or regional transmission organizations (RTO)

4. Options reasonably available to Nevada in designing and establishing a competitive retail electric service market, including, but not limited to, relative pros and cons; the best practices and structure for Nevada; and options for a service provider of last resort

The PUCN said in its notice opening the docket that, "The PUCN has the statutory jurisdiction and responsibility to supervise and regulate all public utilities in Nevada; to ensure that the public interest is always protected and served; to provide for rate stability and electric service reliability; to encourage effective businesses management and long-term planning; and to intervene in any matter which affects the development, transmission, use or cost of energy in Nevada. See NRS 703.150-.152, inclusive."

Accordingly, the PUCN said that, in addition to the issues requested by the GCEC, the PUCN shall also investigate the following issue(s):

5. Potential short- and long-term financial benefits and risks to the residents and businesses of Nevada that may be associated with implementing the Initiative and the best strategies for maximizing any benefits (e.g., savings) and mitigating any risks (e.g., costs).

"The PUCN takes notice that the Energy Choice Initiative was approved by Nevada voters in 2016, and the purpose of this investigation is not to measure or advocate for public approval or disapproval of the Initiative. Rather, the purpose of this investigation is to create a preliminary report to identify and discuss objective decision-points and facts based on stakeholder input that may help inform the residents of Nevada, policy-makers, the GCEC, the PUCN, and others going forward on how best to implement the Initiative, should it be approved again in 2018. The PUCN will create a record and accept input from interested stakeholders through written submissions and participation in publicly-held workshops," the PUCN said

The PUCN invited written comments on the above issues

The PUCN also scheduled a workshop for January 9, 2018 concerning the docket

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