At a Glance
Clean and Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Las Vegas, NV
Annual CO2 Reductions:
20,000 metric tons
Eva Liu investigated renewable energy options and battery storage for Caesars Entertainment.
Eva Liu was the fourth consecutive fellow for Caesars Entertainment and was based at the company’s headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. Liu worked on three main projects while at Caesars: renewable energy strategy, rooftop solar deployment and battery storage installation for peak demand reduction.
Renewable Energy Strategy
When Liu began her fellowship, Caesars had a long history of commitment in sustainability management operations and a growing interest in renewable energy. However, not much research had been done at a corporate level on the potential of renewable energy at Caesars’ affiliated properties, thus making it hard for Caesars to take action. As such, Liu was asked to propose recommendations on renewable energy development. She first analyzed Caesars’ energy consumption data across multiple properties and created a projection of Caesars’ renewable usage for 2015. After researching national renewable energy market and benchmarking data with hospitality industry information from the EPA Green Power Partnership Program, Liu developed a plan for renewable energy procurement with priorities according to their economic and environmental benefits. This strategy provided Caesars a roadmap to achieve continued GHG reduction going forward.
Rooftop Solar Deployment
Caesars employees from all levels of the organization had expressed a strong interest in rooftop solar. After investigating the potential for rooftop solar at Caesars Entertainment’s flagship property in Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, in 2014, Caesars was seeking a more comprehensive assessment of the potential for rooftop solar at all of its domestic properties. As a result, Liu was asked to analyze the feasibility of developing rooftop solar at 38 properties. Using GIS software and the NREL PVWatt calculator, Liu identified 21 properties as possible project sites because of their large rooftop space and limited shading conditions. Working with Caesars’ enterprise facility and engineering team, Liu created a site profile for the selected properties that included aerial photos, potential system sizes, estimated annual energy production and roof condition information. An aggregate 20 megawatts of rooftop solar opportunity was identified, with an annual energy production of approximately 26.5 million kilowatt hours. In total, implementing solar on the identified potential rooftops could reduce Caesars’ annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20,000 metric tons.
Following the analysis, Liu issued a request for proposal (RFP) for rooftop solar with both direct investment and power purchase agreement (PPA) models. Due to the unique corporate financial and tax condition of Caesars, Liu also proposed an internal energy financing model that would maximize the economic value of tax incentives. Following the RFP, Liu analyzed information received and made a recommendation to the energy management team and executive officers to focus on five specific properties.
Storage Installation for Peak Demand Reduction
During her fellowship, Liu found that Caesars Palace had the highest annual electricity consumption and utility costs in the Caesars organization. The property’s summer cooling demand during on-peak periods (13:00 – 19:00) was generating a significant demand charge during summer months. Peak demand reduction seemed difficult to achieve due to the nature of the operation (e.g. 24 hour operation, high occupancy rates). To reduce the demand charge during summer peak periods, Liu was asked to analyze the load performance at Caesars Palace and propose a demand reduction solution. Liu proposed an integrated on-site storage solution that could work together with on-site solar, reducing the summer peak load to the average load level, generating considerable savings. Though peak demand reduction would not reduce energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions directly, it could reduce high-cost and high-emission utility generation used during peak demand hours thereby having a positive impact on both cost and the environment.
Liu’s recommendations lay out a roadmap that Caesars Entertainment could follow to increase the percent of renewable energy procured, expand the amount of on-site solar generation available and reduce costly peak demand during summer hours at Caesars Palace.