Power management company Eaton today announced a contract to provide electrical distribution equipment for a 6.4-megawatt (MW) DC solar installation at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The MGM Resorts International and NRG Energy project is the world’s largest rooftop solar array on a convention center, and is predicted to generate enough energy to power up to the equivalent of 1,000 homes per year.
Eaton received the contract from Sunora Energy Solutions, the design-build firm responsible for providing solar PV system engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction for the project. Under the agreement, Eaton’s electrical balance of system (BOS) solutions and services will help maximize energy harvest, while reducing installation costs and simplifying maintenance.
“The MGM Resorts solar project is a major milestone in the company’s efforts to promote renewable energy generation and reduce dependence on fossil fuel,” said John Vernacchia, global segment manager for renewable energy at Eaton. “By combining the capabilities of Eaton’s proven solar products with Sunora’s system design expertise, the installation will change the way that Las Vegas area produces and consumes electrical energy while providing a regional model that demonstrates the potential of renewable energy generation.”
At peak production, the rooftop installation is expected to produce enough electricity to meet nearly 20 percent of the Mandalay Bay’s power needs. The renewable energy will lower demand on the local power grid during peak demand, minimize the need to import energy from outside the local system and reduce the cost of energy for Las Vegas area customers.
MGM Resorts selected the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center for the solar array due to its 20-acre, sun-orientated rooftop space. This is the first commercial solar project in the U.S. for MGM Resorts. Once the project is complete, Mandalay Bay will buy the energy created by the array through a power purchase agreement.
The project will incorporate Eaton’s BOS solutions and engineering services to help support safe, cost-effective and reliable solar generation. Under the contract, Eaton will supply a range of power management solutions, including: medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, switchboards, panel boards, disconnects, strut and cable trays, wire harnesses, as well as start up and commissioning services.