Harry Reid Helps Chinese Solar Firm Represented By His Son
August 6, 2012
Las Vegas Review-Journal reported:
Now Reid is pushing for a Chinese company he played a key role in recruiting to Nevada, ENN Mojave Energy LLC. The company plans a billion-dollar solar energy manufacturing and generating plant near Laughlin, but an ambitious development schedule is being threatened by a lack of green power customers.
Steve Tetreault quoted Reid in Tuesday’s Review-Journal saying the project “would start tomorrow if NV Energy would purchase the power,” but the company “has not been willing to work on this and that’s such a shame.”
Reid added: “NV Energy is a regulated monopoly. They control 95 percent of all the electricity that is produced in Nevada and they should go along with this.”
They’re not, at least not yet.
And there are some legitimate reasons: Power costs are passed directly to consumers, and green energy currently costs more than power generated by coal-fired or natural-gas burning plants. State law mandates NV Energy buy power as cheaply as possible, except when it’s required to buy more-expensive green energy to meet state-mandated quotas. But the more green energy you buy, the higher bills climb.
NV Energy has already met its quota, and the PUC has already turned the company down when it proposed contracts that would have exceeded quotas. And when the company does buy power – which it plans to do next in 2014 –it does so by analyzing competitive bids.
Reid says those weak excuses. He said in that April interview that if “NV Energy wanted to do more with renewable energy, they could.”
There’s another factor, however, one more personal to Reid: His son, Rory Reid, is one of the attorneys for the ENN Mojave Energy project. A Reid spokeswoman said the senator did not suggest Reid’s firm – Lionel, Sawyer & Collins – to ENN, nor has the elder Reid spoken to this son about the deal.