Las Vegas, NV Facilities Solar Covered Parking Program
Las Vegas, the largest city in Nevada, is taking full advantage of its desert climate to develop more progressive renewable energy strategies that will emit less greenhouse gases and particulate matter. As one of the sunniest cities in the United States, Las Vegas is poised to be a leader in developing solar panel programs that accelerate renewable energy production. Las Vegas is making it easier for all organizations and residents to collect and use solar energy by streamlining solar panel installation. The new 2008 Solar Panel Construction Ordinance is setting the foundation for the City to implement related projects such as the solar covered parking program.
The City Facilities Solar Covered Parking Program is helping the City achieve its renewable energy targets, which were set in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (EE&CS). The EE&CS is modeled after the City's Sustainable Energy Resolution, adopted by Council on September 3, 2008. Several goals have been achieved since the adoption of the new energy efficient plan, such as:
- Installing 4.85 megawatts of renewable energy at city facilities;
- Reducing the City's carbon footprint by 10%, electricity consumption by 5%, achieving a 10% renewable energy standard; and
- Developing renewable energy initiatives; by 2020 the new standard will be set at 20%.
Solar covered parking uses PV (photovoltaic) panels to shade parked cars from the sun's heat while simultaneously collecting solar energy at the time of day homes and businesses need the energy the most. The City received $4.97 million in New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (NCREBs), a tax credit bond, which can be used by governments and the private sector to finance renewable energy projects. The bond money is being used to develop the City's Facilities Solar Covered Parking Program that produces 3.7 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually, which results in cost savings and emission reductions. The solar parking initiative provides covered parking at city facilities for employees and residents alike, covering 1400 parking spaces at parks, community centers, fire station, and other state-owned facilities. Stupak Community Center, the Las Vegas Natural History museum and the Fire Station No. 10 are a few of the locations where the solar covered parking program is currently being implemented.
The solar panel parking program, combined with the 2012 energy installations at the City's wastewater treatment plant (WPCF), is planned to provide 11% of all the energy used at city facilities. WPCF energy costs account for a third of the City's total power bill. Building a 25-acre solar panel project next to the WPCF is predicted to generate approximately 6 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually, powering up to 20% of the amount of energy needed by the Waste Pollution Control Facility (WPCF). The new project is part of the City's Sustainability Initiative, and in addition to NCREB is also being funded by the Sanitary Sewer Enterprise fund.
Additional information on this case study:
City of Las Vegas NCREB
Solar panel project to fuel wastewater treatment plant - Media Release June 12, 2012
Las Vegas plugging into solar energy - Las Vegas Sun June 18, 2012
City Of Las Vegas Celebrates Completion Of Energy Efficient Solar Panels - Media Release December 6, 2011
Las Vegas Solar Panel Ordinance
Sustaining Las Vegas: Energy Efficiency
Issue: Renewable Utility Siting
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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