Long considered to be a huge energy waster, all the resources required to run a typical casino leaves a massive carbon footprint. To help curb the carbon cost, casino operator MGM Resorts International has installed a 3,000-panel solar canopy at the MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. As many U.S. businesses are starting to ‘go green’ by embracing renewable energy sources, some casinos are starting to follow suit.
Soaking Up Some Sun
While the climate change debate rages on, some of the largest energy consuming properties – casinos – are starting to lead the charge to switch to green energy solutions. MGM announced its partnership with Massachusetts-based GE Solar to build the giant solar panel canopy atop MGM Springfield’s 8-story parking garage.
The newly installed solar panel canopy will generate more than 1,600 megawatt hours of electricity once it goes online. This will be enough energy to power 10% of the entire property and reduce the Springfield casino’s carbon footprint by 410 metric tons of CO2e per year. And this is only the beginning.
As a global casino resort operator, MGM’s green energy plans extend beyond Springfield. MGM has partnered with Chicago-based Invenergy to develop sustainable energy solutions for their casinos in Las Vegas. Together they plan to build a 100-megawatt solar array 25 miles north of Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas solar facility will include 336,000 solar panels on 640 acres of land. The electricity generated by the massive solar farm with be enough to power 27,000 homes for one year. MGM plans to purchase all the energy farmed from the solar facility to power its casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The facility should be completed and powered up by the end of 2020.
The sudden switch to sunny energy is part of a larger corporate strategy to embrace green energy across all of MGM Resorts’ properties. According to CEO Jim Murren, “Protecting our planet is a business imperative for MGM Resorts and it is our responsibility to find innovative ways where we can use clean energy to power our resorts.”
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. solar industry installed 10.6 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic infrastructure in 2018. As the voice of the solar industry, SEIA expects the number of solar installations to double in the next 5 years to power a very sunny future.
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