The Wynn Solar Facility officially opens, offsetting up to 75 percent of Wynn Las Vegas’ peak power needs with renewable energy. But Wynn has an even bigger solar story to tell.
Nearly 400 miles northwest of the Las Vegas Strip is the agricultural town of Fallon, home of the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun training airfield and Naval Air Station Fallon, and a resident along the stretch of US 50 known as the “Loneliest Highway in America.”
It also holds one of the most important keys to maintaining the glittering allure of the Strip: a new 160-acre solar facility that began offsetting up to 75 percent of the peak power requirements of Wynn Las Vegas, the largest percentage of renewable energy used by any resort in Las Vegas, when it began official operation on June 2. When Wynn’s new meetings and conventions space expansion opens, it will be powered with 100 percent renewable energy from the facility, making it one of the most environmentally conscious developments in Las Vegas.
“This has been years in the making,” says Erik Hansen, Chief Sustainability Officer for Wynn Resorts. “We began making a number of decisions that would allow us not only to decouple from the local utility, but to begin planning for a long-term, sustainable future for the resort.”
The Wynn Solar Facility is a standalone solar photovoltaic project adjacent to the famous Stillwater hybrid facility, and shares infrastructure with the geothermal-solar hybrid plant. Owned and operated by Enel Green Power North America, Inc., it generates up to 20 megawatts of renewable energy to power the resort, already far exceeding the requirements in the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard. “We could easily have just met that obligation, which states that 20 percent of our power has to come from renewables of some sort,” Hansen says. “But when we looked at the meetings space expansion project, we said, ‘Let’s take all the solar we’re getting and make this new development 100 percent renewable and sustainable.’” It was a way, Hansen explains, for Wynn to firmly plant its flag for sustainability. “With a project this large and being the first to do it on this size and scale, we’re making good on our commitment to renewables and sustainability as a core principle.”
Some of Wynn’s other solar efforts are a little closer to home than Fallon. Solar panels now cover 103,000 square feet of Wynn’s rooftop. Combined with the Wynn Solar Facility, the company is producing enough renewable energy to power 5,056 homes and eliminate 33,734 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the environment annually. “If you’re staying in one of our towers,” Hansen says, “you can look down and see rooftop solar across our ballroom roofs. We’ve made a great investment and we’re just beginning to tell the sustainability story across our resorts,” he says. “It’s a story that proves how a luxury resort can harness the power of the sun.”