Las Vegas commitment supports 100-MW Boulder Solar project

The city of Las Vegas and NV Energy on Nov. 24 announced a new partnership that has potential to take the city to a new level of environmental sustainability by becoming a leader in renewable energy.

Upon approval of a filing to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and ratification by the Las Vegas City Council, this partnership will dedicate to city operations a portion of energy produced by a local solar facility that is currently in development. The energy dedicated from this solar facility, coupled with the power the city receives from NV Energy that already satisfies Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard, will allow the city of Las Vegas’ retail load to be served 100% by renewable energy.

“This partnership is going to be a sustainability game changer for our city,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “One thing people are surprised by is how environmentally conscious Las Vegas is when all they know appears to be less than sustainable. However, we are proud to join other community and business leaders who are all leaders in conservation. If the approvals happen we will become the first city of our size in the nation to achieve 100 percent renewable energy for city operations.”

The solar facility that will be initially supporting the city’s 100% renewable energy goal is the 100-MW (ac) Boulder Solar plant currently under development in the Eldorado Valley at Boulder City, Nev.

“We are proud to partner with the city of Las Vegas to help them meet their sustainability goals, while developing Nevada’s renewable energy resources,” said Paul Caudill, NV Energy President and Chief Executive Officer. “Mayor Goodman and the city join other major customers like MGM Resorts, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and Switch in the drive toward a green energy future.”

Switch, the developer of SUPERNAP data centers, is a technology solutions company led by inventor Rob Roy. Both Switch and the city of Las Vegas are partnering with NV Energy.

“Having the city of Las Vegas join Switch in becoming the first two entities in southern Nevada to become 100 percent renewably powered sends a powerful statement to the rest of the world,” said Adam Kramer, Executive Vice President of Strategy for Switch. “Whether businesses are looking for a place to relocate, host a convention or place their data, Las Vegas’ commitment to sustainability makes those decisions much easier.”

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission in September gave its approval of plans by Nevada Power d/b/a NV Energy to sign long-term power agreements with two 100-MW solar projects.

  • One power contract involves Boulder Solar, a 100-MW solar project in Boulder City, which is being developed by SunPower. The SunPower project was the top selection from an October 2014 request for proposals (RFP) and is expected to generate more than 289,000 MWh of renewable energy in its first full year of service.
  • The other contract involves a 100-MW project being developed by First Solar affiliate Playa Solar 2 LLC in Clark County, Nev. The Playa project is located in the Solar Energy Zone in Clark County. This project was the top selection from a January 2015 RFP and is forecast to generate roughly 307,800 MWh of renewable power in its first full year of operation.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.