America’s largest solar roof array, which is made up 26,000 individual photovoltaic panels, can provide enough energy to supply 25% of the electricity demands of the resort and casino when operated at full capacity. According to building owner MGM Resorts, the infrastructure produces a combined 8.3 MW dc (6.5 MW ac) of electricity – “which is equivalent to the average annual usage of 1,340 U.S. homes” – marking a new national record for rooftop arrays.
The solar array is owned and operated by NRG Energy – which MGM Resorts has signed a 25-year agreement with. The two companies began work on the solar project in 2014.
Other casinos have followed suit, and the three largest casinos in Las Vegas have been developing their own solar projects to lower costs. In spite of the seeming attractiveness of casinos embracing solar energy, state regulators will likely require casinos to pay tens of millions of dollars if they are to detach from the grid since NV Energy generates “a good portion of its sales from casinos.”
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