December 23, 2016

100% renewable energy is a dream that many of us have to move towards a more sustainable world, and a few cities have pledged to get become 100% renewable by 2035. After working for a number of years to move towards this goal, the city of Las Vegas has just announced that every single piece of infrastructure, from the street lamps to the giant hotels, are now powered by various renewable sources.

“We can brag that the city, this city of Las Vegas, is one of the few cities in the entire world that can boast using all of its power from a green source,” says Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

Though the city has been working towards this goal for quite a while now (nearly 10 years), it was able to officially announce the news after it turned on its newest solar array, Boulder Solar 1 just last week. This array works with various other geothermal energy plants and solar panels throughout Vegas to power 100% of the energy in the city. The sources have saved the city about $5 million in energy costs annually, and now that it is 100% renewable, it should save even more.

This is quite an amazing feat, especially for somewhere like Las Vegas, where large hotels and casinos display enormous bright lights and attractions to draw visitors. It has the catchphrase “The city that never sleeps” for a reason, and the city likely uses a whole lot more energy than another of a similar size.

The vast deserts of Nevada surely aid in the solar energy being so efficient, however. Even without the large hotels and casinos, it would likely be much more difficult for somewhere like Seattle to accomplish a similar feat. It is for this reason that Tesla decided to produce its Gigafactory in the same state as Vegas, which is still under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2020. The factory will have a production capacity 35 Gigawatt Hours when all is said and done, which can be attributed completely to the 100 football fields worth of solar panels attached to the top.

It’s great to see a city finally finish moving towards a sustainable future. Fossil fuels aren’t exactly increasing in capacity, so we need to start moving our other cities towards these new resources as soon as possible. Still, it’s nice to see it happening somewhere.

What are your thoughts on the move? Does it make Vegas a bit more interesting?

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