The Townsite Solar facility features an innovative solar PV and energy storage system using Tesla Megapack batteries. An initiative that they hope will generate more than 500,000 MWh per year of clean energy, and that will serve two local municipalities and an electric cooperative, reducing the use of fossil fuels both in production and in the compensation of intermittence, thus avoiding the emission of about 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
It is interesting to find out that the city was actually founded with a green vision right from the start. Going back in time, Boulder City was carefully planned through federal supervision as a model community, with Dutch-born urban architect Saco Rienk de Boer contracted to plan it. DeBoer had been a planner for Denver, Colorado, and was to design many towns and suburbs around the Rocky Mountain region. Because the Hoover Dam project itself represented a focus for optimism for a country suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, the town itself was to be an additional manifestation of this optimism.
There was to be an emphasis on a clean-living environment for dam workers. The plan submitted by DeBoer in 1930 was formal and symmetrical with a park and the Bureau of Reclamation building at the termination of the two main axes. The plan was deemed too expensive to carry out in its original form and was modified to allow for more regular block sizes. Nevertheless, its allowance for public space and copious amounts of landscaping earned it the moniker "Nevada's Garden City". The provision of green landscape was another expression of the Bureau of Reclamation's "mission to reclaim and 'green' the American West."
So we can perfectly say that Boulder City basically honors its "green" origins. Back to this year 2022, the solar PV installation all in all occupies an area of 25 acres and is made up of 528,084 First Solar photovoltaic modules, which provide a nominal power of 232 MW.
This is supported by a group of Tesla Powerpacks, with a nominal 88 MW and 360 MWh capacity, which will allow it to store any energy surplus that is not consumed, and by the way offer energy support during the hours when there is no solar production.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 208.6 square miles (540.2 km2), of which 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.02%, is water. This ranks Boulder City as the largest city in Nevada by land area and 35th in the country, but gives it a low density rate of only about 72 people per square mile. Boulder City maintains strict controls on growth, limited to 120 single- or multi-family residential building permits for new construction per year. Hotels are also restricted to no more than 35 rooms. These restrictions are defined in the city code of Boulder City.
In 2009, Money magazine ranked Boulder City sixth in its annual list of the top 25 places to retire in the United States, which was based on affordable housing, medical care, tax rates and arts and leisure.
The Megapack project is already underway and benefits the whole area, where they will be able to make the most of both a high rate of sunshine hours, as well as a large supply of land available in a desert region where deploying these large parks is somehow simpler than in other places; and which also allows the city to start designing a future way less dependent on polluting fossil fuels.
You can check a video about the project directly from Tesla on this link.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.