Las Vegas goes green
Is Las Vegas set to celebrate Earth Day all year long? This may seem disharmonious when talking about a city lit by thousands of neon signs — a bastion of blinking lights. It might seem at odds but reality, in this case, really is stranger than fiction. Las Vegas is making the leap to the use of solar energy and why not? Nevada is the ultimate land of sun. Even Florida, which calls itself the Sunshine State, cannot compare to the Silver State in terms of total hours of sunshine. Citywise, Miami has 249 days of sunshine compared to Las Vegas at 292.
Solar Reserves’ Crescent Dunes sports a 110-megawatt tower near Tonopah that should be able to produce electric power 10 to 12 hours after the sun sets. The facility uses molten salt, which the National Solar Thermal Test facility said is the best way to store the sun’s energy. The tower should be able to supply energy to the Strip and the Las Vegas Valley. The tower can produce 500 megawatts of power and, since 1,000 households can be powered by 1 megawatt. Doing the math is astounding.
The casinos are on-board with energy conservation too. From City Center’s natural gas energy generation to Caesars and the Sands water reclamation projects, the city is on track. Mandalay Bay’s solar energy installed rooftop is a shining example. No pun intended here. Even the Las Vegas sign, Vegas’s port of call, is powered by solar energy. Casinos big and small are at the forefront of energy conservation and poised to become solarized.
Las Vegas dimmed its lights on the famous Las Vegas Strip on March 29, getting a head start on Earth Day with Earth Hour. As you can see, Las Vegas is doing more than celebrating Earth Day. It is moving into an era of earth reclamation.
Las Vegas decided that one day was not long enough to celebrate Earth Day this year, so the festival in Summerlin was extended to three days. Along with over 120 displays and exhibitions, and major players around the area are supporting it. Scheduled for April 22 – 25, it will include displays for sustainable gardens, homes and living, smart energy and recycling along with displays of vehicles ranging from clean energy to electric and hybrid models.
Pet adoptions are always big in Vegas, and you will be able to find your new best friend at the festival. This solar powered festival will also have plenty of live entertainment, speakers and a kid-friendly area plus food and drink options. You can also shake hands with Smokey the Bear, who will be there with his ageless message to save the forests, as well as the other mascots who will entertain kids and adults alike.
So, here’s tipping our hat to all those who fight to preserve the earth’s resources. Look for our in-depth look at the Valley’s next leap into self-sufficiency from the use of solar energy to the use of natural gas-powered buses to the expanded use of charging stations for electric vehicles. Viva Las Vegas!
I started to write because I developed laryngitis and needed to communicate or burst. It’s true. However, once I discovered the written word, I fell in love. I edited and wrote for my college newspaper and wrote articles for various journals after that. I am still working on the great American novel but I have yet to find the one among many starts I want to finish. Above all, I am fascinated with the world and the people in it. I have a dog who sincerely believes he should write instead of me but I steadfastly refuse to show him how to use the keyboard partly because of writer neurosis and partly because I hate his style.