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'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' Sign Goes Green

Clean Energy Project, Green Chips & Clark County Commission Finalize Plans to Power Iconic Sign with Solar Panels Thanks to Funding from CEA, NV Energy & the Las Vegas Centennial History Grant Program

LAS VEGAS – The Strip’s most iconic landmark, the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, which greets millions of visitors as they head into Las Vegas, will go green this winter. Today the Clark County Commission approved a plan to install solar trees nearby, allowing the sign’s legendary neon and incandescent lights to run solely on harnessed solar energy.

“The Las Vegas Valley is one of the sunniest spots on the planet,” said Clark County Commissioner and Green Chips Board Member Chris Giunchigliani. “We are delighted to harness that sunshine and use it to power such an iconic symbol of our community. The project will forever tie our storied past with the possibility of an exciting future powered by solar energy.”

Clean Energy Project (CEP), a Las Vegas-based nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a clean energy economy, in partnership with Green Chips, a unique public/private partnership that advances environmental sustainability initiatives, has been leading the effort to convert the power source for the legendary sign.

“We are excited, not just about the project itself, which will produce all the power the sign needs to operate, but about what this symbolizes in Southern Nevada,” said Lydia Ball, Executive Director, Clean Energy Project. “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.”

The project is fully funded thanks to generous donations from the  Consumer Electronics Association and NV Energy and a grant from the Las Vegas Centennial History Grant Program.

“We have seen a tremendous rally around this idea,” said Rick Van Diepen, Executive Director, Green Chips. “To have the Consumer Electronics Association pledge $50,000 to this change and then to have NV Energy and the Las Vegas Centennial History Grant Program dive in as well is a testament to the power behind the clean energy and sustainability movement that is growing in Las Vegas.”

The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, designed by Betty Willis, has stood at the South end of Las Vegas Boulevard since 1959. When the switch is flipped on the solar project the sign’s neon, backlighting and 89-bulb border will be powered solely by the energy harnessed by three solar trees which will be installed along the central median where the sign stands. The solar trees will be placed so as not to interfere with the iconic view that has served as The Strip’s welcome mat for more than 50 years.

The project also includes a didactic plaque describing how the project works and directing those interested in learning more about renewable energy and sustainability in Southern Nevada to the Clark County, Green Chips and CEP websites.

Ground breaking for the project will begin this fall with anticipated completion around the first of the New Year.

About Clean Energy Project

Clean Energy Project, Inc. (CEP) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to powering the clean energy economy through education and engagement with policy leaders, community leaders and citizens on the economic benefits of fully developing a clean energy economy. CEP builds on existing successful policies and advocates for continued development of the west's promising clean energy industry. For more information, please visit CleanEnergyProjectNV.org.

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