MGM Resorts, NRG Solar team up on 6.2 MW Las Vegas project

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MGM Resorts International and NRG Energy, Inc., are partnering on a planned 6.2 MW installation atop the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The project, which will be custom designed and developed by NRG Energy subsidiary NRG Solar, is MGM Resorts’ first commercial solar project in the U.S.

The Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality group said it chose the Mandalay Bay building for the new solar array due to its large sun-oriented rooftop space, which spans roughly 20 acres.

Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which is owned by the MGM Resorts group, will buy the energy created by the array though a power purchase agreement (PPA) once the project is completed. Located on the Las Vegas Strip, the convention center is attached to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

At peak production, the rooftop array is expected to produce nearly 20% of the Mandalay Bay’s power demand and in turn lower demand on the southern Nevada electricity grid at the hottest time of the day, decreasing the need to import energy from outside the local energy system and thus reducing energy costs for the entire Las Vegas system, the companies said in a joint statement.

"MGM’s desire to advance environmental stewardship in support of a cleaner future speaks to the quality of the organization," said Tom Doyle, NRG Solar president and CEO. "At the same time, it’s an intelligent business decision. The new 20,000 panel solar rooftop array at Mandalay Bay will effectively enable the resort to lock in a substantial component of its energy costs at a very competitive rate. Our expectation is that other corporations will follow thought-leaders like MGM Resorts to protect our planet."

NRG Solar last week completed construction on its vast 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) project, located in eastern San Luis Obispo County in neighboring California.