US ROUND-UP: Invenergy completes 100MW Las Vegas project, SEIA bolsters advocacy efforts

The Mega Solar Array is located north of Las Vegas and has 323,000 modules. Image: MGM Resorts.

A round-up of the latest news from the US PV sector, as commercial operations begin at a plant in the Nevada desert developed by Invenergy, and the Solar Energy Industries Association adds new companies to its board of directors.

Invenergy energises 100MW project in Nevada

28 June 2021: Commercial operations have started at a 100MW solar project in the Nevada desert that will provide power to a selection of Las Vegas casinos and resorts.

Developed and constructed by Invenergy, the Mega Solar Array is contracted under a 20-year power purchase agreement with entertainment company MGM Resorts International, suppling up to 90% of the firm’s daytime power needs at its 13 Las Vegas Strip properties, including Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand.

Featuring 323,000 modules arranged across 640 acres, the project will exclusively supply electricity to MGM, which already has an 8.3MWdc rooftop PV project on its Mandalay Bay property and is now aiming to source 100% renewable energy in the US by 2030.

American Electric Power subsidiary AEP Renewables owns a 75% interest in the project, while Invenergy has a minority stake and will carry out operations and maintenance services.

Origis Energy, EDP Renewables and Carbon Solutions Group join SEIA board

22 June 2021: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has added three clean energy development companies to its board as the organisation expands to include energy storage and advocates for federal policies that strengthen renewables infrastructure.

Solar and storage project developers Origis Energy and EDP Renewables as well as Carbon Solutions Group, a platform that operates distributed generation solar, have now joined the trade association’s board of directors.

SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said the organisation is thrilled to welcome the board members to its ranks as it advocates for solar and storage policies “that will help rebuild our economy with hundreds of thousands of new Americans jobs”.

Last month, SEIA announced the formation of the Storage Advocacy Network, which will be a separate branch of the organsation and advocate for federal and state-level policies that support the energy storage sector’s development.

Array Technologies boosts executive team

24 June 2021: Solar tracker manufacturer Array Technologies has expanded its executive team with the appointment of Erica Brinker to the newly created role of chief marketing officer and Tyson Hottinger as chief legal officer.

Brinker, who previously served as CMO and vice president of marketing and sales excellence at Honeywell International, will be tasked with emphasising Array’s focus on environmental, social and corporate governance. Hottinger will oversee all legal, compliance and governance functions across the company.

Following rises in material and logistics costs, Array last month withdrew its guidance for 2021. During the first quarter of 2021, the company’s revenue fell by approximately 44% year-on-year and adjusted earnings were down 69% on Q1 2020.