NRG reaches deal with major Las Vegas resort for rooftop solar

An NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) subsidiary and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) in Las Vegas said July 2 that they have reached agreement for the power company to install one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the world.

The announcement was made from MGM’s Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas during a ceremony that included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, along the company officials.

Company officials said the 20-acre rooftop solar array, currently in the early engineering phase, will be able to generate more than 6 MW or enough energy to power 1,000 homes. The project will provide 20% of the resort’s power needs and blunt the impact of peak power demands in Las Vegas – which happens to be enduring a heat wave.

There is currently no commercial operation date slated for the NRG Solar 6.2 MW project at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center. The existing roof will be replaced prior to solar panel installation. It will be MGM Resorts’ first commercial solar project in the United States.

At peak production, the rooftop array is expected to produce nearly 20% of the Mandalay Bay’s power demand.

During the ceremony, which was made available to reporters by telephone, MGM officials said no federal subsidies are currently involved in the project.

“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,” said NRG Solar President and CEO Tom Doyle.

MGM Resorts chose the Mandalay Bay Resort Conference and Convention Center for its new solar array due to its large sun-oriented rooftop space, which spans roughly 20 acres. Once the project, custom designed and developed by NRG Solar, is completed, Mandalay Bay will buy the energy created by the array though a power purchase agreement (PPA).

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.