Feed-In Tariff Solar Program Largest in the Nation

The first solar installation to interconnect the city power grid is completed on a North Hollywood apartment complex.

  • Photo by Fotolia/eldadcarin

  • Photo by Fololia/Elenathewise

With the flip of a switch, on June 26, Los Angeles officials inaugurated the nation's largest rooftop solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program, enabling hundreds of building owners to create solar power plants on their rooftops and sell solar power to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) for distribution on the city's power grid. All told, the LADWP FiT Program, originally proposed and supported by the Los Angeles Business Council and the CLEAN LA Solar Coalition, will generate 150 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable solar energy—enough energy to power over 43,000 typical homes and reduce 147 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to removing 28,300 cars off the road.

This morning, Mayor Villaraigosa, LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols, LA Business Council President Mary Leslie, Communities for a Better Environment President Bill Gallegos, Solar Developer Christian Wentzel, and a coalition of key stakeholders who supported the program, gathered to officially "flip the switch" on the first solar panel installation to be interconnected to the city's power grid. Located on the rooftop of Oxnard Plaza Apartments, a multi-family apartment building in North Hollywood, the solar photovoltaic system will generate 142,000 kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable solar energy annually.

"We took a major step forward in creating a clean energy future for Los Angeles by flipping the switch on the first installation to be completed through the LADWP Feed-in Tariff Program – the largest offered by any city in the nation," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "The FiT program takes advantage of LA's abundant sunshine to spur new private sector investment that will create jobs and decrease our city's reliance on dirty fossil fuels."

LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols said the FiT program is an important step forward in completely transforming the city's power supply and meeting the state-mandated renewable energy level of 33% by 2020.

"This first completed FiT solar installation is physical proof that our FiT program is moving forward as we planned and we could not be more pleased to be here to celebrate this milestone," Nichols said. "It's just the beginning of what we expect to be a long and beneficial public-private partnership. Within the next few years, Angelenos can expect to see thousands of solar panels installed on apartment buildings, warehouses, parking structures and other rooftops throughout the city."

The FiT program also rounds out opportunities for solar development in Los Angeles. Up until now, most solar projects in Los Angeles are built through the traditional net-metered Solar Incentive Program (SIP), where customers install solar panels that generate power for their own home or business and receive rebates from LADWP.  Unlike the customer net-metered program, the FiT program enables participants to sell all their power to LADWP for distribution on the grid through a standard power purchase contract.

3/2/2014 2:13:39 PM

Unfortunately other states are not so enlightened. In Utah a Senator named Curt Bramble is trying to get a bill passed (SB208) that punishes customers who are clean energy adopters. I would ask everyone who reads this to contact him curt@cbramble.com and tell him to serve the interests of the people of Utah and not the utilities. He has received more contributions from the utilities then any other legislator.



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