How to ensure you’re truly providing sustainable luxury? Power it yourself, of course.
Solar panels cover 103,000 square feet of Wynn’s convention space rooftop.
In 2014, Wynn made an operational decision that would in many ways form a core philosophy for the company just a few years later.
Wynn decided to uncouple itself from Nevada’s utility, NV Energy, and buy its own energy. It wasn’t a deal that came without significant costs, but what it got in exchange, says Erik Hansen, Director of Energy Procurement for Wynn Las Vegas, “was the ability to make all of our energy decisions on our own.” Traditionally, a large customer such as Wynn would have to negotiate with the utility the type of energy it wanted to purchase, then buy it at the utility’s marked-up price. By splitting from the utility, but still paying to use its transmission and distribution lines to move the power, Wynn could buy solar power directly. And at the time, solar power cost less than market prices, the perfect time to structure a long-term contract and hedge against the forward energy market, making the soundest choice for sustainability.
The question was how best to use this boon. “In 2017, we looked at our convention space expansion project and said ‘let’s take all the solar we’re getting and use it to make the expansion 100% renewable and sustainable.’”
When the project opens, it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy sourced from Wynn’s own 160-acre Solar Facility in Fallon, Nevada, making it one of the most eco-friendly developments in Las Vegas. The resort has already begun receiving power from its Facility, and is using it to offset up to seventy-five percent of the resort’s current peak power requirements—the largest percentage of renewable energy used by any resort in Las Vegas.
Combined with the recently installed solar panels (above), the energy from the Wynn Solar Facility will generate enough renewable energy to power 5,056 homes and eliminate 33,734 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the environment annually.
“We’re taking this power straight from the Wynn Solar Facility and delivering it directly to the resort,” Hansen says, “There’s no one else doing this.”
If you’re staying in one of the towers at Wynn, you can now look down and see recently installed solar panels covering 103,000 square feet of Wynn’s convention space rooftop. Combined with those panels, the energy from the Wynn Solar Facility will generate enough renewable energy to power 5,056 homes and eliminate 33,734 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the environment annually.
“We’ve shifted our thinking about our renewable goals overall,” Hansen says. “We were already making a lot of sustainable efforts—and now we realize that what we’re doing is telling the story, in many ways, of who we are.”