Las Vegas Taps into Solar Energy for Municipal Buildings

As reported in The Huffington Post and USA Today, last year Las Vegas became the latest U.S city to complete the switch over to solar power for its municipal buildings.  Now that the final array of solar panels has gone online, Las Vegas can brag that all of the city buildings, parks, community centers and street lights are powered by renewable energy. At a news conference following the completion, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said proudly, “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.”

The city now joins the ranks of other green cities such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego and others. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “The city began building its sustainable energy programs in 2008, implementing energy-saving measures across the city and putting solar arrays on and around city facilities where it made sense. Since then, the city has reduced its energy consumption by more than 30 percent, according to Tom Perrigo, the city’s planning director and chief sustainability officer.” The savings are estimated at over $5,000,000 per year and expected to increase in the future.

Despite the acres of solar panels cropping up in the western states, America lags behind China, Japan and many European countries in its use of solar energy. China, Japan, and the UK lead the field, while newcomers such as Chile and South Africa have immediately jumped into the top ten.

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