PUC wants to keep close tabs on Nevada utilities’ finances | NevadaAppeal.com

PUC wants to keep close tabs on Nevada utilities’ finances

The Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday made it clear they want to review the financial status of Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power if the two utilities are ordered to come up with more money in the Enron bankruptcy case.

The commission has already authorized the two power companies to issue a total of $338 million in bonds to show the federal bankruptcy judge in New York they have the ability to pay a judgment to Enron.

The Nevada utilities are fighting the judgment.

That approval earlier this year included a requirement the utilities return to the commission for a review of their finances in the event the bonds actually have to be sold.

Utility officials said that seemed to indicate they need another approval before actually selling the bonds, which wouldn’t satisfy requirement by the bankruptcy judge that the utilities have authority to actually issue the bonds in order to stay the multi-million dollar judgment during the appeal.

The utilities, both part of the same corporation, asked commissioners to remove the requirement they return, but commissioner Carl Linville said regulators didn’t intend to require another approval hearing for the bonds.

He said the financial filing is designed to let the commission review the potential impact of any decisions the New York court makes.

Added financial requirements, he said, could hurt the utilities’ financial situation and commissioners need to keep a close eye on the power companies.