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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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Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

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The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

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People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

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A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

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Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

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Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular. Colin Dunn / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Vergin

It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.

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Data from a scientist measuring macroalgal communities in rocky shores in the Argentinean Patagonia would be added to the new system. Patricia Miloslavich / University of Delaware

Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.

EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.

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