Major Solar Array Being Installed at Mandalay Bay

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR

Las Vegas, NV – One of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays in the world should be producing electricity on the roof of the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in sunny Las Vegas by next Summer.

MGM Resorts International and NRG Energy, Inc. teamed up this year to begin the installation of 20,000 solar panels capable of generating 6.2 megawatts of power beginning in the Second Quarter of 2014.

The project should pay off for trade show organizers through a power purchase agreement under which MGM will buy back the electricity from NRG, which will finance, construct, own and operate the array.

“The power purchase agreement does represent a positive business case for Mandalay Bay,” said Chris Brophy, vice president of corporate sustainability for MGM Resorts. “MGM purchases the energy from the system and acts as the site host for the equipment.”

The project’s output will be enough to power about 1,000 homes, which translates to about 20% of the power used by the massive Mandalay Bay complex. The roof of the convention center is roughly 20 acres and will feed a welcome stream of electrons into the Las Vegas power grid during the hottest times of the day when air-conditioning demand is at its peak.

Rooftop solar arrays have become increasingly common at convention centers and other buildings with large flat roofs. A General Motors assembly plant in Spain is believed to have the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic array in the world capable of producing nearly 12 megawatts of power. The largest one in the U.S. is located at the Gloucester Marine Terminal in Gloucester, NJ and has a capacity of nine megawatts.

Reach Chris Brophy at (702) 693-7120 or cbrophy@mgmresorts.com