Fort Mojave Tribe - Limited Power Options in Nevada
In 1993, the Fort Mojave tribe began developing 4,400 acres of tribal land in Nevada that will eventually include 40,000 residential units, shopping centers, a community center, a dozen casinos, and have a load of 120 megawatts. The tribe approached Nevada Power for an estimate of the cost to provide power to the development area. Nevada Power's $6 million estimate was determined to be too expensive. Nevada Power was also unwilling to give a written estimate or describe in detail what operations and costs the estimate covered.
The tribe then approached the City of Needles which responded with an estimate of $600,000 to provide power to the Nevada site. However, Nevada Power negated Needles' bid pointing out that Needles, as a wholesale customer of Nevada Power, had a no resale clause in their power purchase contract. The tribe subsequently approached Mohave Electric Cooperative for an estimate. This option was turned down by Nevada business interests. The only remaining option for the tribe was to have AMPS provide power to the site. AMPS has since constructed a power line across the river to the development area where the casino and marina have been built.
In February 1995, the 350-room Avi Hotel and Casino opened on the Colorado River. The casino created an electric load of nearly 2 megawatts, and the load will grow with further development. The opening of the casino and the planned development on the tribe's Nevada land are proving to be the largest influences on the growth of AMPS' system, although, at first, the tribe did not plan to provide power to the Nevada development.