It was more than three years ago that MGM Resorts International and Chicago-based Invenergy, North America’s largest independent renewable energy company, partnered on a new solar photovoltaic array that would generate 100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. The MGM-Invenergy Solar Project was to be located 25 miles north of Las Vegas and MGM Resorts would purchase all the energy generated by the project to help power its 13 properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
This past week, MGM Resorts launched its 100-megawatt solar array, the hospitality industry’s largest directly sourced renewable electricity project worldwide. The array’s clean energy now produces up to 90 percent of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas daytime power needs, spanning 65 million square feet of buildings across 13 properties and more than 36,000 rooms on the Las Vegas Strip, including Bellagio, ARIA, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and The Mirage, among others.
I believe it is the largest clean energy project associated with a hotel or resort—at least in the United States. Kudos to MGM Resorts for thinking and doing on such a grand scale. Companies in our entire industry should take notice and do what they can to pursue the level of clean energy that makes sense to them.
The launch marks a milestone in MGM Resorts’ long-term climate strategy and significantly accelerates progress toward its 2025 goal to reduce the company’s emissions by 45 percent per square foot. MGM Resorts also announced two new goals it has developed in line with guidance provided by the Science-based Targets Initiative, and has submitted them for consideration by the Initiative:
- Reduce absolute scope one and two Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 50 percent by 2030 (2019 base year);
- Source 100 percent renewable electricity in United States and 80 percent globally by 2030.
Located in the desert north of Las Vegas, MGM Resorts’ Mega Solar Array features 323,000 panels arranged across 640 acres. The array’s renewable electricity production will be equivalent to the amount of power used by approximately 27,000 average U.S. homes annually. MGM Resorts is the sole user of the renewable electricity generated.
Power Purchase Agreement
The project with Invenergy is structured through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). In early 2021, Invenergy sold a 75 percent interest in the MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array to AEP Renewables, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, one of the nation’s largest electric companies. Invenergy Services, a subsidiary of Invenergy, will provide Operations and Maintenance and Balance of Plant services under a long-term agreement.
“With MGM Resorts’ significant scale and resources, we’re positioned to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change, and we recognize our responsibility to build a more environmentally sustainable future,” said Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President, MGM Resorts. “Today we’re marking a significant step forward in our environmental sustainability initiatives in Las Vegas and our long-term vision to protect the planet and achieve an enduring, positive impact in our communities worldwide.”
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said, “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. 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.”
To read more about MGM Resorts’ many environmental initiatives, click here.
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