Las Vegas became United States largest city to run entirely on 100 per cent renewable energy after Boulder Solar 1, NV Energy’s massive solar array in the southeast corner of Nevada, went on line last week.
From street lights to city parks, community centers and fire stations also government buildings are now running entirely on renewable energy, city officials have announced.
“We can brag that the city, this city of Las Vegas, is one of the few cities in the entire world that can boast using all of its power from a green source,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a news conference Monday.
Renewable energy is generated from natural processes that are continuously replenished, according to Penn State University. “This includes sunlight, geothermal heat, wind, tides, water, and various forms of biomass. This energy cannot be exhausted and is constantly renewed,” the school said.
The achievement marks the completion of the city’s nearly decade-long goal to fully transition to clean energy only ― a project that was expedited after the city partnered with public utility company NV Energy almost a year ago. While all government facilities are now only powered by renewable energy, many residential and commercial buildings are not.
Boulder Solar 1, combined with other local sources of green energy like geothermal energy plants and solar panels placed throughout the city, will now provide 100 percent of the city’s municipal power.
The shift to renewable energy started in 2008 and has since saved the city roughly $5 million annually and decreased energy consumption by more than 30 percent, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas ― now the largest U.S. city to rely solely on renewable energy ― is helping pave the way for other cities eager to transition to carbon-free energy, despite an incoming presidential administration with a record of pushing back on progressive environmental policies.
San Francisco and San Jose are some of the other big cities with plans to use 100% renewable energy by 2035, the Sierra Club reported.