Solar-powered slot machines come to Vegas

Over the past several years, we’ve seen businesses across the economic spectrum increasingly turning to clean energy to power their operations. From GM and Anheuser Busch to Home Depot and Google, more stores, data centers and factories than ever run on renewables. And now the most recent example means your next Vegas vacation might be powered by the sun.

MGM Resorts has announced the launch of a 100 megawatt (MW) solar array that can provide enough energy to supply 90 percent of the electricity at 13 Las Vegas resorts. MGM notes the solar project can generate enough electricity for 36,000 hotel rooms at the Bellagio, ARIA, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and The Mirage, among others.

“Solar energy’s success throughout our state has created thousands of Nevada jobs and led to cheaper power bills and the growth of a new industry that is diversifying our state’s economy,” said Senator Jacky Rosen. “In Nevada, thanks to companies like MGM Resorts, solar energy is both creating jobs and helping us lead the way toward a clean energy future.”

“MGM Resorts has long been Nevada’s largest private employer and has shown a clear commitment to using their size and scale to lead on important issues like climate change, renewable energy and sustainability,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said. “This solar array is among the most significant steps our industry has taken in terms of tackling climate change and promoting renewable energy. Powering so much of the Strip with clean, renewable energy sends a powerful message about Nevada’s role as a national leader in renewable energy and our commitment to fighting climate change.”

Invenergy developed the solar project and will perform operations and maintenance, and AEP Renewables currently owns a majority share. MGM has a 20-year power purchase agreement for the solar array’s output.

Like more than 300 companies worldwide, MGM resorts has a 100 percent renewable energy target. While many of these companies are sourcing clean energy to meet their sustainability goals, they’re also doing it because wind and solar make economic sense. Because wind and solar’s costs have fallen by 70 and 90 percent, respectively, over the past decade, they’re often the most affordable sources of new electricity. Their fixed costs also protect businesses from unexpected fuel price spikes while facilitating long-term planning.

So while the Nevada sun may be scorching, it’s also providing affordable, reliable, clean power to the Vegas strip.

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