What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas they say – but this certainly doesn’t apply to the news that its iconic welcoming sign will be powered by solar panels by the end of this year.
The Clark County Commission has approved a plan to install ‘solar trees’ close to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.
Las Vegas-based non-profit organization Clean Energy Project and Green Chips have led the effort to have the sign solar powered and are thrilled their lobbying has borne fruit.
“By lighting up this sign every night with the power of the solar energy, we are providing a great example of just what solar can do and why it’s worth support,” said Lydia Ball, Executive Director, Clean Energy Project.
Funding for the project has been provided by donations from the Consumer Electronics Association and NV Energy; along with a grant from the Las Vegas Centennial History Grant Program.
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign was erected in 1959 by Western Neon. Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) currently owns the sign and leases it to Clark County; however, the design itself is in the public domain. The sign was placed on the USA’s National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
The addition of solar panels won’t be the first time the sign has been a part of an environmental initiative. In 2009, it was darkened for one hour as the city took part in Earth Hour.
Trivia: According to Wikipedia; another (and much longer) instance when the sign was darkened occurred in 1999 for around a month when the company that had been paying the power bill was bought by another firm that failed to do so. Power was shut off to the world-famous landmark over an outstanding power bill of $60.