|Tom Perrigo, chief sustainability officer of the city of Las Vegas, “flips the switch” on their new three-megawatt solar panel installation on April 18, 2013|
With the action of Tom Perrigo “flipping the switch” on their newfound solar panel installation, city officials are celebrating for the installation would help provide energy to a nearby wastewater treatment plant. The ground-mounted panels have been tightly packed on 25-acres of city-owned land near Vegas Valley Drive and Nellis Boulevard. This site had previously been a vacant strip of land the city had used as a buffer for its wastewater treatment plant, which processes all of the city’s wastewater on its way to Lake Mead.
During the dedication ceremony, Mayor Carolyn Goodman had announced that the project was known to being part of the city’s comprehensive sustainability plan, which includes renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling and waste management. “It’s all about sustainability for the city and our citizens to make sure that we’re using every resource that we can to keep down the costs of energy,” she said. “The council wants the financial resources we have available to go as far as they can.”
The $20 million project will generate 6 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to provide approximately 20% of the treatment plant’s power. “Because the plant accounts for a third of the city’s annual energy bill, the solar panels will provide a big savings,” Tom Perrigo, the chief sustainability officer, said. “Our energy spend breaks down to about a third for wastewater treatment, a third for street lights and a third for city buildings,” he said. “By providing solar here at this facility, we’re able to make a big impact on the city’s overall energy consumption.”