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01/14/2014

Vegas' legendary sign now hooked to solar power

Vegas
 Picture courtesy of Clean Energy Project. 

Welcome to Las Vegas.

As of last week, this iconic sign at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard is now on solar power.

The 25 feet tall sign is hooked to three solar trees and each of which has six 265-watt panels, which help the system generate 4.77 kilowatts of power, according to designer Bombard Renewable Energy. Sure, the sign is obviously lit up at night and the trees can’t feed power to it then. But, the solar trees’ output will offset all the power used by the sign.

It is symbolic, to say the least.

“We’re planting solar trees at one of the most photographed spots on earth,” county commission chair Steve Sisolak said in a statement from Green Chips, which led the project. “It’s difficult to make a bigger statement about our commitment to sustainability than at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign.”

Solar power makes no where more sense than in Vegas, and Nevada, where sunshine comes in copious amounts.

The project also includes an educational plaque explaining how the project works and directs those interested in learning about renewable energy and sustainability in Southern Nevada to the ClarkCounty website.

“Welcome to Las Vegas” has greeted people since 1959.

Raveena Aulakh is the Toronto Star’s environment reporter. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh

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