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Las Vegas Now Home to Nation's Largest Rooftop Solar Array

Energy

Consisting of 26,000 individual solar panels, the roof of the the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas has become the nation's largest solar roof installation.

Photo credit: Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort

The solar panels cover 28 acres and produce approximately 25 percent of the energy usage of the convention center—the equivalent of powering 1,300 homes. A 350,000-square-feet expansion of the convention center allowed eight more acres of solar panels to be added to those that were originally installed in 2014.

Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort's new roof helps push Nevada toward its goal to generate 25 percent of its energy from clean power by 2025.

Photo credit: Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort

Falling solar panel costs, Fortune reported, has enabled large solar projects like this one to be installed for the same price or less than buying electricity from the city's power grid. Three of the largest casinos on the Las Vegas strip are building solar projects to lower energy costs.

Las Vegas isn't alone in showing solar's growth and prominence in Nevada. SolarReserve's Crescent Dunes project in Tonopah, Nevada, which went online in June, is the world's first 24/7 solar power plant, powering 75,000 homes.

Solar power has also been gaining momentum across the U.S. It is becoming cheaper and more accessible in major cities such as New York City, where residents can use a solar map to estimate the energy source's potential, cost savings and incentives available in the state. California broke solar records last week by providing enough energy to power 6 million homes. Meanwhile, in the Mid West, the first solar roadway in the nation is coming to Route 66 in Missouri.

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