Las Vegas Casinos Going Solar

If the Great Recession has taught Las Vegas casinos anything, it’s that cutting costs and saving money is a good thing. And one cost-cutting measure that could soon spread throughout Vegas is solar power. MGM Resorts is one casino chain that’s investing into solar power for their multiple properties on the Vegas Strip. After finding […]

MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL MANDALAY BAY SOLAR ARRAYIf the Great Recession has taught Las Vegas casinos anything, it’s that cutting costs and saving money is a good thing. And one cost-cutting measure that could soon spread throughout Vegas is solar power.

MGM Resorts is one casino chain that’s investing into solar power for their multiple properties on the Vegas Strip.

After finding a partner, MGM spend five years of planning and 18 months of construction to install solar panels at Mandalay Bay in 2013.

Now, they’re leaving Nevada electricity supplier NV Energy to use solar power. They’ll pay an $87 million exit fee to do it, but the long-term savings will be worth the effort. They’ll be joined by the Wynn Resort, which will pay $17 million to exit NV Energy on a path towards renewable energy.

According to CityLab, NV Energy may see other clients move on to green energy because they have to raise rates on other clients to make up for losses.

“If people are consuming less electricity, revenue for the company is going down, so they raise rates on others. That forces more of them to defect.” says Bill Ellard, chair of economics for the American Solar Energy Society.

“Soon, they won’t have enough money to keep gear, power lines, transmission stations working. We have an old, ancient grid. A lot of power companies are just duct-taping and band-aiding things. Now monopolies like NV Energy are competing with free market innovation, and innovation is not their mantra. You don’t have to innovate when you’re a monopoly.”

While this may be bad for NV Energy, it could certainly be good for mega-casino resorts, which pay a lot to power their huge hotels and casinos. MGM is using a vast solar array at Mandalay Bay to attain 8.3 megawatt, which can power 1,340 single-family homes.

Given the costs that casinos expect to cut with green energy, you can expect more casinos to move away from electricity and towards solar panels.

 

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