Court denies review of power plant purchase |

Court denies review of power plant purchase

(AP) – The Nevada Supreme Court denied a petition Tuesday by the state consumer protection bureau to overturn a regulatory board’s approval of a power plant project.

In a nine-page ruling, a three-judge panel said the Public Utility Commission’s action allowing Nevada Power Co. to build the Harry Allen natural gas-fired generating plant in southern Nevada was supported by evidence and testimony.

The consumer bureau had argued the PUC failed to adequately consider a less expensive plan to buy the nearby Apex Plant when it approved the power company’s plan to build the $682 million Harry Allen project in 2008.

The consumer bureau, part of the attorney general’s office, asked the commission to reconsider. When regulators declined, bureau lawyers filed a petition in state court seeking a judicial review of the proceedings, which also was denied. They then appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Justices said the commission in its order “noted the potential purchase of Apex as a substitute for the construction of Harry Allen, and considered the staff’s position on this matter.”

The ruling said the commission also considered Nevada Power’s rebuttal that a letter from Apex’s owner didn’t constitute a firm offer of sale, and that other energy sources were needed “to fill projected energy shortfalls in the near future.”

Additionally, the commission said no one recommended that it deny Nevada Power’s request to build the Harry Allen plant, the court found.