MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array Completed

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Sitting atop the roof of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is a 6.4 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array. NRG Energy, Inc. built and installed the recently completed solar array for MGM Resorts International, the company that owns Mandalay Bay Resort. The solar panels cover about 20 acres and will produce the equivalent of enough electricity to power 1,000 U.S. homes a year. It is the first solar PV system of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip. 
The solar array consists of over 21,000 PV panels, and is projected to keep 6,300 metric tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of removing over 1,300 cars from the road. It will also help decrease the power demand on southern Nevada’s electricity grid during the summer when everyone uses their air conditioners. 
MGM Resorts and NRG plan to build a two MW solar array atop the future expansion of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center; construction is expected to begin ater this year. NRG operates the solar array and through a power purchase agreement, Mandalay Bay Resort purchases the power generated. 
Through its Green Advantage initiative, MGM Resorts has increased environmental responsibility MGM Resorts has a sustainability initiative called Green Advantage. Since 2007, that initiative has helped the company reduce its energy load by over 14 percent. In 2013, the company’s domestic properties used over 24 million less kilowatt hours (kWh) of power over 2012 usage. Since 2008, MGM Resorts has saved over 383 million kWh of power. 
Through Green Advantage, MGM Resorts has also reduced water usage, waste, and increased recycling and green building efforts. This includes conserving 430,000 gallons of water, prevented 660,000 pounds of carbon emissions, and diverting over 27,000 pounds of landfill waste in 2013. 
MGM Resort’s domestic properties have saved over 1.2 billion gallons of water since 2008 by initiatives such as planting drought-tolerant plants and native landscaping. CityCenter in Las Vegas features six LEED gold certified buildings and was designed in such a way that 50 million gallons of water a year are saved.
Last year, MGM Resorts achieved an annual diversion rate of 52.6 by diverting almost 65,000 tons of waste from landfills. The company exceeded its goal of a 50 percent diversion rate by 2013. It has increased its company-wide recycling rate to almost 255 percent since 2008, having recycled nearly 223,000 tons of waste. In 2013, it recycled 26.9 percent more waste than in 2008. It also recycled 65,000 tons of materials in 2013, almost 10,000 more than in 2012. 
Fifteen MGM Resorts properties were awarded Green Key Global Eco-Ratings for conservation efforts. Five properties received the “5 Keys” award, which is a prestigious certification only granted to less than two percent of Green Key’s 2,500 participating properties. Five of MGM Resorts’ properties also received 5 Keys in Green Key Meetings.
In addition, 13 properties earned TripAdvisors’ GreenLeaders certification. Two properties received a Platinum certification, indicating the highest level of environmental responsibility. Only seven percent of GreenLeaders’ participants have earned the designation.