Las Vegas’s Path To Net-zero Energy Communities: Profitability And Sustainability – LAS VEGAS () — Bluetec Park, a $7.5 billion energy-efficient mini-city, has secured a plot at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard.
The project will be located on 210 acres on Las Vegas Boulevard near Cactus Avenue and usher in an unprecedented renaissance of the global digital infrastructure industry in Southern Nevada, a company spokesman said.
- 1 Las Vegas’s Path To Net-zero Energy Communities: Profitability And Sustainability
- 2 Nevada Climate Strategy Outlines Framework To Phase Out Natural Gas, Electrify Transportation
- 3 Pivot To The South: Lng Plants Under Development By Sempra Energy In Louisiana And Mexico
- 4 Southwest Gas Faces Pressure From Climate Groups, Investors As It Charts Future
Las Vegas’s Path To Net-zero Energy Communities: Profitability And Sustainability
“I will always remember being a part of this country – home to this very innovative and special Bluteh Park project,” said Larry Cannarelli, founder of American West Homes.
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“After many years of working together, I am honored to see Blutech Park finally plant the flag on 210 acres of prime location – South Las Vegas Boulevard,” Rouhani said.
Bleutech Park will feature 100% off-the-grid, ultra-luxury residential, sustainable housing, tech-savvy office space, retail space, a futuristic hotel with 3,000 keys, a dream surfing destination with an innovative pool – waves guaranteed – and exotic beach setting, in addition to full entertainment, the ultimate 1200 foot tower.
A spokesperson for the project also reports that the net-zero buildings will be equipped with new self-healing concrete and breathable materials – catapulting Las Vegas forward as the archetype of sustainability on the world stage.
Bleutech Park will design and present 33 supertrees as vertical gardens ranging from 50-100 feet with an emphasis on the vertical display of desert plants and foliage as it aims to redefine the future of infrastructure.
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The project will also serve as a haven of future inspiration for established and emerging technologies, renewable energy harvesting and robotics, unlike any existing project in the world, according to a press release about the project. With solar panels installed. at 14 buildings (and counting) the goal is to overcome zero energy consumption.
“Materials that give life to an old design can be revitalized to serve a new purpose,” said university architect John Treston.
From carpet to concrete, he said, many of the products the university uses can be sent back to the manufacturer, broken down and turned into products for new construction projects. And old equipment and furniture are sent to the Surplus Center for affordable sale or responsible recycling.
Hospitality Hall, Greenspun Hall, and the Science and Engineering Building are certified by Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which means they are sustainable, efficient and provide healthy working conditions. These buildings provide cleaner air, access to daylight and avoid using materials with harmful chemicals in them.
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The medical education building now under construction is already registered for LEED certification and will include solar panels, overhangs and shading systems to conserve resources and even generate its own energy, while providing a healthy and soothing environment for medical students and residents.
The long-term goal for planning and construction is to ensure that new buildings go beyond “net zero” (consume only as much energy as they produce through renewable energy). “We want our future campus buildings to not only be energy efficient – we want them to create their own energy and send it back to the grid,” Treston says.
Solar panels have been installed on top of 14 buildings on the Maryland and Shadow Lane campuses, and will be added to the new medical education building. The university began installing the panels in 2013 as part of a subsidy through NV Energi.
These panels have a production capacity of 1.4 megawatts (MW). For reference, that could power 134 family homes for an entire year. The electricity produced by these panels is used by the building in which they are located, resulting in savings of approximately $130,000 per year on the university’s electricity bill.
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Each solar panel has photocells that absorb the sun’s energy. The resulting electricity travels to an inverter box and is converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) to be used in our buildings.
A facilities management technician remotely monitors the solar panel system and works with the electrical team to resolve most issues.
While NV Energi no longer offers subsidies for solar panels, facilities management is seeking alternative funding to install more panels on other campus buildings.
The US Forest Service grant will also help partners fight climate change, high temperatures in the fastest-warming region by planting trees and expanding access to green spaces.
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Finance President Daniel Chi offers tips for financial freedom and details on the new Institute for Financial Literacy and Wellbeing. President Biden has pledged to sharply reduce America’s planet-warming carbon emissions, meaning changes to the country’s energy system could reshape the country’s landscapes and coastlines.
The United States now aims to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, meaning the country will eliminate as many greenhouse gases as it emits. To achieve that goal, Americans will need to get much more of their energy from renewable sources like wind farms and solar farms.
One of the most recent studies on the subject, Princeton University’s Net-Zero America Report, outlined five paths to net-zero, all of which required the United States to exceed its current pace of building solar panels and wind turbines.
But what will all that energy infrastructure look like and where might it go? Here’s a look at the factors and forces that will determine where renewable energy projects could be built.
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National Renewable Energy Laboratory reference wind supply access curve; Princeton’s Net-Zero America Report · By Veronica Penney/The New York Times
Traditionally, the location of high-voltage transmission lines largely determines where new energy projects will be built, as transmission lines that can carry electricity between states and regions are expensive. So does the United States have lines to transfer power from solar farms in the sunny deserts of the Southwest to major cities elsewhere in the country?
Power lines are a big question mark in other parts of the country as well. In remote parts of Montana and Wyoming, wind speeds may be ideal for energy projects, but the terrain is too rugged to build transmission lines to cities and towns that need electricity.
In addition, approval for the construction of new transmission lines currently needs to be given state by state, parcel by parcel. To show how complicated it could be, Cheryl LaFleur, former chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, cited the example of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
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“Imagine if he didn’t have the authority to lay out the interstates and he said, ‘We’d like to have some interstates, why don’t all your states come out and plan them?'” Ms. Lafleur said.
That is why, according to many planners, the best option is to build energy sources near population centers. They say the United States will still need to expand its network of high-voltage transmission lines, but minimizing that expansion will be the simplest way forward.
“The cost of solar power is so low these days that it really makes sense to install it close to where the demand is, rather than incurring huge transmission costs to deliver it from somewhere else,” said Emily Leslie, director of energy consultancy Energi Reflections who contributed to Princeton’s Net-Zero America Report.
Renewable energy projects can offer a lifeline to struggling farmers, generating as much as ten or twenty times the income per acre of arable land. But neighbors are sometimes strongly opposed to new projects.
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“You live in different places for different reasons, and some people live in places for the view,” said Sarah Mills, a senior project manager at the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute who researches farmland preservation. “Wind turbines change the view.” With solar, if it’s right next to your house and a few miles from solar, it changes your view.”
In Wyoming, for example, local officials were intrigued by the employment and tax revenue prospects of proposed wind projects. At the same time, they are reluctant to interrupt the wild vistas cherished by the people who live there. “It scared us,” said one county official in the state. “There were 50 wind projects coming our way and it would destroy our way of life.”
In other states, some local and state governments are planning legislation, including a bill in Ohio, that would limit where renewable energy projects can be built.
Many of the best solar and wind resources in the United States are on public land in the Southwest and along the Rocky Mountains, so some power will still have to come from far west.
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Obtaining approval to build on federal or state land can be a much longer process than what is required on private land.
The Interior Department currently aims to approve permits for 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on federal land by 2025, but some of Princeton’s models suggest nearly five times that amount on public land in the coming decades.
How much energy is allowed on public land and where projects are built will depend on how the Biden administration updates solar and wind energy plans developed during the Obama administration. Those projects allow rapid permitting for renewable projects on designated parcels of federal project land.
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