Electric cooperative regulation bill vetoed by Nevada governor

Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada vetoed a bill that would have subjected an electric power cooperative to full regulation by the Public Utility Commission of Nevada if the company offered any electricity services outside of the geographic area for which it held a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

“A cooperative electric association is an entity run for and by its members. Cooperative electric associations are largely exempt from PUCN jurisdiction because it is presumed these entities will make decisions for the benefit of their members,” said Sandoval, a Republican. “Section 12(3) of Assembly Bill 391 would expand the scope of the PUCN’s jurisdiction over cooperative electric associations. Adding additional PUCN regulation over an entity that is owned by its members and serves only its members is unnecessary.”

One of the co-ops, Valley Electric Association, supported the governor’s decision, according to Power Engineering. The association could have been impacted as a result of a contract that it won through a competitive bidding process with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide electric distribution services to Creech Air Force Base, which is outside of the co-op’s service area. However, VEA was not serving as the base’s utility provider, but as the owner and operator of the base’s distribution infrastructure.

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