As concern over climate change increases, more and more cities around the world are finding ways to wean themselves from fossil fuels and switch over to renewable energy sources. Located in the center of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas has recently taken advantage of their most abundant resource: the sun. By harnessing solar energy, the City of Las Vegas has become yet another example in a growing list of green leaders.
The City Lights Up
In 2006 former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman joined more than 1,000 others in signing a climate protection agreement, committing to lower the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent below the 1990 levels. The quickest way to reach this goal was through the widespread adoption of renewable energy. The transition began in 2008 and, just last month, the city made a significant step forward with the help of the newly opened Boulder Solar I solar panel farm.
Las Vegas Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Perrigo explained that all of the government buildings and assets, including streetlights and more than 140 facilities, consume nearly 20 megawatts of electricity. A large chunk of the energy needs are now being met by Boulder Solar’s 100 megawatt output.
Working Towards 100 Percent
Sensationalist articles published last December were quick to claim that Vegas had switched its entire power grid over to renewable energy. While that is the eventual intention, they’re not quite there yet. Today, roughly 20% of Nevada Energy’s electricity is generated by clean energy sources, including solar, geothermal, hydro and wind. The rest of the state’s energy comes mostly from natural gas, with coal being phased out over the next few years.
As the price of solar panels drop, the dream of a completely solar city becomes even more feasible. Las Vegas has invested in about 6 megawatts worth of solar panels installed on buildings and buys solar power directly from NV Energy for under 4 cents a kilowatt-hour. Many other cities across the United States are making similar efforts, paving the way for a greener future.
Solar Power in Palm Desert
The Coachella Valley continues to add more power generation through solar as well, with award-winning Renova Solar leading the way. For more than 10 years, Renova has been designing and installing residential and commercial solar systems built to withstand the harsh desert climate. We pride ourselves on outstanding quality and service. Contact us today to schedule a free quote for your home or business!