MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, announced the planned installation of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays in the world at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas. The 6.2-megawatt installation will be MGM Resorts' first commercial solar project in the United States and will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.
The announcement was made at a news conference in Las Vegas featuring U.S. Senator Harry Reid and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in advance of the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0 on August 13, 2013 at Mandalay Bay.
At peak production, the rooftop array is expected to produce nearly 20 percent of the Mandalay Bay's power demand. This in turn will also 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 thus reducing energy costs for the entire Las Vegas system.
"Integrating environmentally responsible practices throughout our operations has been a key pillar in MGM Resorts' strategic sustainability plan," said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. "Partnering with NRG Solar to install the solar rooftop at Mandalay Bay highlights a major milestone in our efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce our consumption of the planet's limited resources."
"MGM's desire to advance environmental stewardship in support of a cleaner future speaks to the quality of the organization. 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," said Tom Doyle, President and CEO of NRG Solar. "Our expectation is that other corporations will follow thought-leaders like MGM Resorts to protect our planet."
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).
MGM Resorts has made great strides in reducing its natural resource consumption through its Green Advantage sustainability initiatives. Over the past five years, the company has reduced its energy intensity by more than 12%, and has also saved a total of more than 2.5 billion gallons of water.