solar power plant
Image credit: EV Wind

The Los Angeles Business Council has called upon the Department of Water and Power to accelerate rollout of consumer rooftop solar panels.

This will help ensure the reliability of the grid.

The business and civic leaders have urged the LA Department of Water and Power to step up local solar goals to fill the gap from phased out fossil-fuelled power plants.

LADWP will also be closing three gas-fired power plants along the coast that generate nearly 40% of the city’s total energy. Retiring the fossil-fuel power plants is in line with targets set to generate 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2045.

The utility has been urged to expand its pilot which included business owners installing rooftop solar panels and integrating excess energy onto the main grid.

The utility’s Feed-in Tariff solar programme is claimed to be the largest solar project of its kind in the nation.

To date, the pilot has seen a total of 150MW of rooftop solar either installed or active, along with a waitlist of interested participants.

The pilot is expected to help Los Angeles to further reduce its carbon emissions, spur major private investment in clean energy as well as create thousands of jobs.

Expanding the pilot will also help the city to replace retired capacity without the need to increase consumer energy tariffs and without incurring power outages.

J.R DeShazo, director of UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, said:“The FiT pilot programme generated $500 million in economic activity while displacing 2.7 million tons of greenhouse gases from the environment each year. That’s like taking away the emissions from about half a million cars annually while delivering clean power to tens of thousands of LADWP customers.

“… there are an estimated 10,000 acres of underutilized rooftops of office buildings, warehouses and apartment buildings in Los Angeles that could be put to use generating zero-carbon solar energy.”