On January 5, 2023 a single man successfullycompletely disabled the MGM Resorts Mega Array Solar Power Plant in North Las Vegas. The Plant serves as the main source of Solar Power for the MGM Resort's 13 Las Vegas Strip properties. Mohammad Mesmarian, 34, faces terror charges for setting a fire inside one of the plant’s transformer pits earlier this week. Police said it could put the facility out of commission for up to two years. The alleged perpetrator rammed an Idaho-registered Toyota Camry through a gate at the plant after workers had left for the day on Jan. 3. At midnight, according to the arrest report, Mesmarian set fire to the car while "it was parked inside a generator pit after siphoning gas from its tank to burn wires in a transformer. As shown on video surveillance, Mesmarian then watched the flames for about 15 minutes before walking away." Mesmarian faces charges of committing an act of terrorism, arson, destroying or injuring real or personal property of another, and escape by a felony prisoner. MGM does not own the solar facility which is run by a company called Invenergy.
The damage will take up to two years to repair, but nobody was hurt in Las Vegas' latest high-profile incident. The Las Vegas Strip has long been one of the most recognizable places in the world. It's a glitzy land of excess filled with giant representations of some of the best-known pieces of architecture in the world. MGM Resorts International properties include the Luxor, which looks like an Egyptian pyramid, New York, New York's faux Statue of Liberty, and the mock medieval stylings of its Excalibur property. Rival Caesars Entertainment CZR has its Roman-style Caesars palace and its version of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.
Add in the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit Las Vegas each week as well as the massive events like the NFL Draft, NBA All-Star Games, and concerts from the biggest artists in the world and it's easy to see why Las Vegas is becoming a target for bad actors. The FBI has joined the Metropolitan Police Department in investigating what is being considered a terror attack on the MGM Mega Solar Array facility northeast of Las Vegas.