What you don’t know can hurt you — in the wallet.
But your lawmakers, in that 11th-hour bid to protect NV Energy from any risk whatsoever in its speculative plan to build a billion-dollar-plus transmission line so it can ship expensive renewable power to California, decided you have no right to know just how expensive that precious “green” energy is.
In big blue letters, talking specifically about renewable energy contracts, Assembly 416 declares:
“Any information in the possession of the Commission or an affected governmental entity concerning a contract, lease or agreement between a public utility and another person for the purchase of power. Such information is proprietary and constitutes a trade secret. The Commission shall not disclose the information except pursuant to an agreement between the public utility and the other party to the contract, lease or agreement or as ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
It really galled a lot of people, including many of the top executives at NV Energy, when the Review-Journal a year ago pressed for and obtained contract information on how much the company was actually paying for renewable energy. Jennifer Robison’s story at the time reported seven “green” energy contracts cost the company 8.6 cents to 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour — that’s double to more than triple the 4-cent cost of fossil-fuel power, mostly from natural-gas turbines … and that price has gone down since.
Solar was the most expensive and geothermal the cheapest. For the solar power the company agreed to pay wholesale prices higher than the 12 cents it was charging residential customers. See the graphic.
The Review-Journal editorialized today that AB416 should be vetoed by the governor simply on the basis of unnecessarily saddling ratepayers with a risky expense, but the secrecy clause makes this bill, passed unread by most legislators, doubly devious and a thumb in the eye of all Nevadans.
Even the lap dogs at the Sun today got around to pointing out the sub rosa nature of the action.
Michael Yackira talks about renewables, among other things: