MGM Resorts International has 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% 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.
"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." For further information see the IDTechEx report on Energy Harvesting Microwatt to Gigawatt: Opportunities 2020-2040.
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% per square foot. MGM Resorts also is announcing two new goals it has developed in line with guidance provided by the Science-based Targets Initiative, and has submitted for consideration by the Initiative:
- Reduce absolute scope one and two1 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 50% by 2030 (2019 base year)
- Source 100% renewable electricity in US and 80% globally by 2030
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."
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.
The array's development and launch follow multiple significant efforts by MGM Resorts to achieve its long-term climate goals. MGM Resorts' commitments to date include:
- Investing over $60 million in energy efficiency in its U.S. properties from 2007 to 2019, including major upgrades to energy-efficient lighting and heating and air conditioning systems.
- Pursuing green building certification for all new property developments since 2009. CityCenter - where ARIA and Vdara resorts are located - earned six LEED1 Gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council when it opened in 2009 and remains the world's largest privately funded LEED certified development. MGM Springfield is the first private-sector hospitality development to earn LEED Neighborhood Development certification at the site level.
- Developing the 8.3-megawatt array at Mandalay Bay in 2015, America's largest contiguous rooftop solar array on a convention center.
- Transitioning to distribution-only service in its local utility grid in 2016, allowing MGM Resorts to take control of its energy future and accelerate use of renewable power.
The Mega Solar Array project was developed in partnership with Invenergy - a leading privately held developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions - and structured through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). In early 2021, Invenergy sold a 75% interest in the MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array to AEP Renewables, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP), 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.
Through this 100-megawatt array and MGM Resorts' ambitious new goals, the company further affirms its commitment to its companywide social impact and sustainability platform, Focus on What Matters. This platform articulates the company's approach to making a positive impact on society. Focused on What Matters' pillars include Fostering Diversity and Inclusion, Investing in Our Communities and Protecting the Planet.
Source: MGM Resorts International
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