Nevada utilities want to borrow up to $400 million

By JOHN G. EDWARDS

Oct. 17, 2000 (www.lvrj.com)—Nevada's two major electric utilities are asking state regulators to authorize them to borrow an estimated $350 million to $400 million more to cover the rising cost of wholesale power and fuel for power generation.

Sierra Pacific Power Co. and Nevada Power Co. each year ask the Public Utilities Commission to authorize them to issue bonds and stocks, explained Mark Ruelle, chief financial officer for Sierra Pacific Resources, the utilities' parent.

During the next year, electric power companies estimate they will need to borrow $350 million to $400 million more next year to cover the increasing cost of fuel and wholesale power.

"All of our other costs are down," Ruelle said. In a related development Friday, the companies asked the PUC to approve another round of monthly rate increases to offset some of the costs of fuel and wholesale power. Nevada Power, which serves the Las Vegas area, is asking the state to allow it to boost rates by $15.8 million or 1.4 percent yearly starting Dec. 1.

Residential rates would be boosted 1.3 percent or $1.04 a month. In July, the PUC approved a so-called "global settlement" agreement reached by state officials, the utilities and major casino operators for deregulation and rate increases. Since that agreement, Nevada Power has filed to raise rates by a total of 10.3 percent for residential customers.

Sierra Pacific Power, which serves Reno, seeks to boost rates of all customers by $1.4 percent or $7.7 million in its latest rate case. While customers may complain about continuing increases, the PUC staff believes the rate increases would have been higher had the agreement not be reached. Nevada Power's annualized increase would have been $90 million higher had the settlement not limited the amount of monthly increases the utility can receive, according to the PUC staff. Sierra Pacific Power would have been able to recover $3.5 million more.

The electric utilities may have an opportunity to recover some of those expenses later. Because of the rising cost of fuel and purchased power, the two utilities are seeking state authorization to borrow $100 million more from banks and Wall Street on a short-term basis, Ruelle said. They are seeking authorization to borrow $1 billion more on a long-term basis.

About one-third of the $1 billion in long-term debt authorization would be used for refinancing existing debt, Ruelle said, with the remainder going for additional or new debt. Ruelle said the companies don't intend to borrow the maximum amount authorized in short-term and long-term loans at the same time. A decision by the PUC to approve increased borrowing won't guarantee that the company is able to recover the extra amount through rate increases, he said.

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1997 - 2000

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Fuel Tech receives air pollution control contracts worth $3.6Mn

Fuel Tech Inc. has received multiple air pollution control (APC) contracts, worth approximately $3.6 million, from customers in China, Europe and the U.S.

Video: Duke Energy acquires Halifax Solar Project in North Carolina

Duke Energy Renewables (NYSE: DUK) has acquired a 20-MW solar project in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, from Geenex and ET Solar Energy Corp.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

Texas groups petition feds over alleged coal exemptions

Environmental groups in Texas want to overturn a state action they say exempted large coal-fi...

Westar plans to buy wind power from new plant

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Westar Energy says it plans to buy energy from a new wind farm to be buil...

Terrestrial Energy to advance molten salt reactor design

Terrestrial Energy Inc. is teaming with the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Man...

Austria will sue over nuclear power subsidies

Austria said it will sue to block any subsidized nuclear power plants in Europe in an attempt...

GE to supply energy storage system in Ontario

Convergent Energy + Power will use a GE (NYSE: GE) 7-MWh battery energy storage system for th...

PG&E president announces retirement

Christopher P. Johns, president of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E, NYSE: PCG), has ...

Army post near Baltimore breaking ground for new power plant

The Army is breaking ground for a more efficient power plant at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen...

Murray Energy makes sweeping coal mine layoffs in Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia

Four different Murray Energy affiliates announced May 22 a massive series of coal mine layoff...

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Industry Wire News

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free NDT Job Training to Vets, Disadvantaged Young Adults

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free ND...

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tech Talent

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tec...

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possible Delisting

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possi...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>