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New Power Plant Comes Online, But No Cut to Your Bill | News

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New Power Plant Comes Online, But No Cut to Your Bill

GOODSPRINGS, Nev. -- NV Energy unveiled it's latest green power plant Friday. The plant in Goodsprings, south of Las Vegas, uses heat from existing natural gas pipelines.

The plant will have with no toxic emissions, but you won't notice any immediate effect in your power bills.

But why won't more efficient power generation bring cuts to the power rate?

"It reduces power costs, relative to where it would have been otherwise if we continued to buy from other sources," said NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira.

Without the plants, Yackira says, power prices would have been higher than they would have been otherwise.

NV Energy is required by law to meet a goal of having at least 25 percent of power come from renewable sources like solar and wind by the year 2025. The utility company is on track to meet that goal.

That means 44 power plant construction projects in Nevada, including this one, use some unique technology.

"The energy was going out the exhaust stacks. It was being wasted. It's roughly six megawatts of energy that we're able to recover through this process," said Gary Hoogeveen with the Kern River Gas Company.

Those megawatts are enough to power 4,500 Nevada homes. The plant takes heat generated by an existing natural gas compression plant. That heat now creates electricity without creating any hazardous exhaust.

But the plant is highly automated which creates very few permanent jobs.

NV Energy is asking the Public Utilities Commission for a rate increase starting April. They want to increase rates nearly 5 percent, on top of an increase rate last July.

NV Energy is a publicly traded company. The are spending millions on power plant construction, but they also made $182.7 million net income. That's up from last year, and their stock is also up around 15 percent these past six months.