MSG Sphere in Las Vegas Proposes Drawing 70% of Its Energy from Sun

Posted on: August 24, 2023, 03:51h. 

Last updated on: August 25, 2023, 10:11h.

Sphere Entertainment wants to draw 70% of the power required for its soon-to-open MSG Sphere from the Sun. The plan was revealed on Thursday in a 25-year proposal.

MSG Sphere, Sun
The Exosphere of the MSG Sphere, which contains 580,000 square feet of programmable lighting, mimics the very celestial object from which its creators want it to obtain most of its energy. (Image: YouTube)

Solar energy would power most of the Sphere’s nightly light shows and other entertainment produced at the $2.3 billion venue. It is scheduled to open on September 29 with a residency from U2.

“From the outset, we designed Sphere to minimize environmental impact and to help create a sustainable operation well into the future,” Rich Claffey, Sphere Entertainment’s executive VP and COO, said in a press release. “We’re proud to enter into this agreement with NV Energy and partner with them to achieve both of those important goals.”

Nothing Like the Sun

Under the proposal, which still requires approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to move forward, Las Vegas’ public utility, Nevada Energy, would build a new, dedicated solar energy field, called the Sierra Solar Project, and a separate battery storage complex for the Sphere.

Until the completion of these resources, the Sphere’s power would come from existing, nonrenewable sources, and its operators said they would voluntarily acquire renewable energy credits from NV Energy to mitigate the impact of using those sources.

The amount of power produced by the new resources, and the rate Sphere would pay, were both redacted from the filing. Nevada law and commission regulations allow companies to seal rate and usage estimates.

Previous reports that the venue would use 150 terawatt-hours (trillion watts) of energy per year were false. In 2022, the entire U.S. generated 4,243 terawatt-hours of electricity. So no, the Sphere will not require 3.5% of all energy generated in the U.S. to operate.

NV Energy has asked the commission to act on the request by Feb. 2, 2024.