On the roof of a North Hollywood apartment building, an array of solar panels started generating energy last week as part of what's being touted as the nation's largest urban solar program.
The program, an L.A. Business Council initiative called Clean L.A. Solar, allows the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to pay customers to generate solar power across the city's vast expanse of flat roof space.
The goal is to generate 150 megawatts of solar electricity, or enough to power about 30,000 homes. The council aims to attract $500 million in clean energy investment from a growing list of companies that want to set up large clusters of rooftop solar panels.
From the LA Times:
"It is really a no-brainer," said Christian Wentzel, chief executive of Solar Provider Group, which installed the North Hollywood panels. Long-term contracts with the DWP cemented the Los Angeles company's plans to invest $50 million in 17 projects to tap the region's sun-drenched climate.
Four years in the making, Clean L.A. Solar serves as part of the city's answer to the state mandate to generate 33% of electricity using renewable sources by 2020. DWP officials project the solar purchasing program will help L.A. reach 25% of the state mandated by 2016.
Clean L.A. Solar proponents have their sights set high, aiming to expand the initial 150-megawatt goal over the next several years to 600 megawatts.
In a city where the sun shines 300 days a year, it's hard to believe it's taken this long to install a buyback program. Kudos to the L.A. Business Council for making it happen. Yet another reason why we love L.A.
(via LA Times)
Photo: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks and several officials inaugurate a solar project in North Hollywood on June 26, 2013. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)