Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The Wynn resort in Las Vegas agreed to use solar power to meet 75 percent of its peak demand, the largest commitment in the city, an operator said.
Wynn Las Vegas and Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Enel, signed a power purchase agreement to buy energy from a planned 27 megawatt solar facility. The new plant is under construction next to a hybrid facility that uses geothermal and solar combinations in Stillwater, Nev., the first of its kind in the world.
Enel said the partnership with Wynn, which will use the power for its planned Paradise Park multi-use development, is the first and largest for Enel in the Las Vegas gaming industry and applauded by Nevada conservation groups.
Andy Maggi, the executive director of the Nevada Conservation League, said the decision puts Nevada in a leadership position in U.S. renewable energy use.
"When we see companies like Wynn, which has been a big part of Nevada's economy for generations, make clean energy choices, they are buying into our economic future as well," he said in a statement emailed to UPI.
Wynn already has solar panels that cover more than 100,000 square feet of its existing resort's rooftop.
The announcement follows a steady green shift in Western states, from an electric vehicle corridor outlined by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, to a recent legal challenge from California on a federal decision to ease rules on hydraulic fracturing.
"Whether it's roads or trains or dams or renewable energy installations or zero-emission cars, California is setting the pace for America," California Gov. Jerry Brown said in his State of the State address this week.
Enel said it would invest about $40 million for the new solar power facility, which comes even as new tariffs on imported solar products are adopted. The plant, already under construction, should start supplying power for Wynn during the second half of the year.