January 25, 2018 - 6:00 am
Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s new Paradise Park development will be powered entirely by energy from a dedicated solar array built 375 miles away near Fallon, the gaming company announced Thursday.
Wynn has partnered with Enel Green Power North America Inc. on a 160-acre photovoltaic array capable of producing up to 20 megawatts of electricity.
Enel Green Power will own and operate the Wynn Solar Facility and use it to provide electricity to Paradise Park, the $1.5 billion development soon to begin construction on the site of the former Desert Inn Golf Club, just east of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.
The project will include a 47-story, 1,500-room hotel and convention center built alongside a 38-acre lagoon ringed by a mile-long boardwalk and white-sand beach.
Wynn Chairman Steve Wynn has said the Carnival-themed development will have a nightly parade of floats on the lagoon, fireworks, ziplines, a carousel and a high-tech bumper-car attraction.
Erik Hansen, Wynn’s director of energy procurement, said the solar array is slated to go online within the next few months and will deliver enough power to offset up to 75 percent of Wynn Las Vegas’ peak power requirements until Paradise Park is completed.
Direct to resort
According to Wynn officials, no other Las Vegas resort is powered by a larger percentage of green energy.
What makes the arrangement with Enel unique, Hansen said, is that all the output from the solar array will be dedicated to Wynn Resorts and sent directly to the property through existing transmission lines.
“We are delivering this power directly to our load,” he said. “We’re the only ones doing that.”
Though no specific deals have been struck yet, Hansen said there is “a very good chance” a similar arrangement could deliver renewable power to future Wynn projects, including the Wynn West hotel just announced for the 38-acre Alon site the company purchased last month for $336 million.
As Steve Wynn put it in a written statement: “The use of renewable energy is a significant part of the future management of our energy needs in all Wynn developments.”
The company recently installed 103,000 square feet of solar panels capable of producing almost 1 megawatt on the Wynn Las Vegas rooftop. Hansen said that array is not connected to the grid, so all its power is used “behind the meter” on the property.
Output could power 5,056 homes
Combined with the output from the new solar array near Fallon, Wynn will be responsible for producing enough renewable energy to power 5,056 homes and eliminate 33,734 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the environment annually.
The Wynn Solar Facility is part of an expansion of the photovoltaic array at Enel’s Stillwater GeoSolar Hybrid Plant, the world’s first power facility to combine solar and geothermal generation.
“Nevada is the national leader in geothermal and solar generation per capita and our gaming and tourism industries are second to none,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval in a written statement. “This is a meaningful step in Nevada’s energy future, and I am grateful that these companies worked together to use the state’s renewable energy resources for the benefit of Nevada companies and our environment.”
Wynn isn’t the only gaming company generating its own electricity. Since 2014, MGM Resorts International has gotten up to 25 percent of the power needed for Mandalay Bay from a dedicated 8.3-megawatt solar array that now covers about 20 acres of rooftop above the property’s convention center.