Here’s something that made us sit up a little bit straighter last week: Two of Las Vegas’ largest casinos, MGM Resorts (a Better Buildings Challenge hospitality partner) and Wynn Las Vegas LCC announced that they have issued notice to stop purchasing electricity from their current utility, NV Energy.
The reason they give? To reduce their environmental impact and more aggressively pursue renewable energy and energy efficiency. "Our imperative is heightened by increasing customer demand for environmentally sustainable destinations," said MGM Executive Vice President John McManus said in a letter included with the company's regulatory filing.
This is an important develop to watch, since it signals the evolving needs of large electricity customers, many of whom are similar tothe Better Buildings partners. Our partners, including MGM Resorts, are continuously looking into distributed energy technologies, district heat and power and renewable energy sources, motivated by energy efficiency, climate impact reduction and resiliency. MGM announced in a May 19 filing with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission that it would pay an exit fee of $86.9 million and cease buying power from NV Energy by Oct. 1. Wynn Las Vegas LLC also filed notice, however they are still negotiating their exit plan.
In a semi-deregulated state like Nevada, qualified customers can purchase power directly from suppliers. In the case of MGM, they’ve signed a contract with Tenaska Power Services Co. but will still pay NV Energy for distribution.
We hope that this news fosters a conversation on the feasibility of such actions, and examples of states successfully integrating renewables into their energy mix.
For more information on what MGM has done to meet its Better Buildings Challenge goal and share its implementation model, go to: http://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/partners/mgm-resorts-international
Read more about this story at Smart Energy Decisions.