The city of Las Vegas is building a 25-acre solar panel project, one of the largest for a city government in the western United States. The project is currently under construction next to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, known as the Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) near Vegas Valley Road and Nellis Boulevard.
When completed, the more than 15,000 ground-mounted solar panels are expected to generate approximately 6 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which will power up to 20 percent of the electrical needs of the nearby WPCF. This is equal to the amount of energy needed to power 300 homes annually. Energy savings at the WPCF are important because it accounts for about a third of the city’s total power bill. The other two thirds are divided between streetlights/signals and city buildings.
The solar panel project is a part of the city’s Sustainability Initiative that, together with energy retrofits of city facilities and streetlights and installation of solar panels at various city-owned locations, will save more than $2.5 million per year in energy costs. Other city governments in the western United States have built solar panels projects, but this is believed to be one of the biggest at 25 acres.
The total project cost is approximately $19.7 million and is being funded by the Sanitary Sewer Enterprise fund, which comes from a combination of sewer-user fees and development connection fees. These funds are used for the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plants and the sewer collection system.
The project will benefit the city by providing a green energy source. It will also benefit anyone who pays city of Las Vegas sewer fees by stabilizing the cost of power needed to run the city’s sewage treatment plants. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.