Nevada regulators have approved a partnership between Las Vegas and NV Energy designed to move the city towards utilizing all renewable energy in its municipal buildings and other energy needs, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
The partnership, announced in November
, now needs to be ratified by the Las Vegas City Council. If approved, energy would be provided to the city from a local solar plant now under development.
The 100-megawatt (AC) Boulder Solar I power plant is currently being developed in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nev.
While the public-facing image of Las Vegas is one of excess, city leadership say they are in reality a city with aims to be "a world leader in renewable energy." If the city council approves a new partnership with NV Energy, it will allow the municipality to utilize renewable energy for all of its needs.
“This partnership is a sustainability game changer for our city,” Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn Goodman said in a statement. “One thing that surprises people is how environmentally conscious Las Vegas is when all they know appears to be less than sustainable. However, we are proud to join other community and business leaders who are all leaders in conservation."
"I look forward to being one the first cities of our size in the nation to use 100 percent renewable energy for operations," Goodman said.
The energy dedicated from Boulder Solar I, combined with power the city produces on its own and receives from NV Energy that already satisfies Nevada's renewable portfolio standard, will allow the city's entire retail load to be served with renewable energy.
Las Vegas has joined a growing number of municipalities choosing to use all renewable energy, but the city's size makes it unique. "If the approvals happen we will become the first city of our size in the nation to achieve 100% renewable energy for city operations," Goodman said when the partnership was announced last year. In 2015, Aspen, Colo.
, Georgetown, Texas
, and Rochester, Minn.
, all announced they would be moving to 100% green power.
Even so, three of the city's major casinos exited
from Nevada Power's service as they look to procure energy on an open market, saying the utility's rates were too high. But such a move earned them some $125 million in exit fees, which they are trying to fight, reports Vegas Inc.