Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Dec 19

World’s Most Ambitious Solar Plan in LA

Posted in Energy Industry | Future Technology | Solar Power

Solar Plan LA The city of Los Angles is taking up the world’s most ambitious solar power project. Till date this project will be the largest solar power plan started by any city in the world. They are planning to install 1.3 Giga Watts (GW) of solar power and register their city’s name in the book of green economy. The plan was announced by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Eric Garcetti, Council member Jan Perry and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). This program is known as Solar LA. They aim to replace the fossil fuels during peak energy requirement and the program lays out a far-reaching and long-lasting course of action for a network of residential, commercial and municipally-owned solar systems to replace fossil fuels during peak energy demand.

The Solar LA plan covers three primary components: first one is the programs to boost residential and commercial customer solar systems; second one will be the LADWP-owned solar projects in Los Angeles; and the third one will be the large-scale solar projects owned by the LADWP outside of the LA basin.

They are taking other steps too. For example, LADWP will utilize $313 million in state funds for solar projects. Using this fund, it will expand its rebate programs by encouraging customers to install solar panels for their power needs. LADWP will provide free systems to a limited number of customers belonging to the low-income group. LADWP will also encourage residential customers to opt for low-interest loans for the installation of solar systems till now available to commercial customers. This project will incorporate a new feed-in-tariff (FiT). Using this FiT, Solar developers can sell power to LAWDP by engaging in a long-term contract.

Mayor Villaraigosa is of the view that it’s time to use the most abundant natural source to generate electricity and jobs for the future. He wants people to view LA as the shining example of green growth worldwide. Investment in green power will create new openings in the area of research and development, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and repair. A release from the mayor’s office stated that every 10 MW of solar energy would generate 200 to 400 jobs. Los Angles would be giving the necessary push to “cleantech” economy by generating varied types of jobs.

“Solar LA serves as more than a blueprint to a greener LADWP,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “By sparking a broad movement to solar energy across a city of 4 million residents, we are priming the pump for Los Angeles to become a world leader in the solar industry and delivering on the vision of re-making Los Angeles into the cleanest, greenest big city in America.”

If this plan is completed by 2020 then LA will generate a tenth of Los Angeles’ power through solar energy by 2020. LADWP will put in 400 MW of roof-top solar systems on city-owned properties by 2014. It will also obtain 500 MW of utility-scale solar power from projects developed under agreement by third-party solar developers.

“L.A. has everything it takes to make this [solar plan] work,” said Villaraigosa, standing alongside environmentalists, union leaders and City Council members. “We have the sun in abundance. We have the space. We have the largest municipal utility in the country.”

  • Total Solar Energy

    lots of cool things happening in California. Arnie is really pushing things along nicely. LA in particular has the capacity to be the number one solar city in the world.

  • Daniel Baldacchino

    One tenth of the power required by one of the tens of states in the US, which is just one of the six continents on earth…this is the first thought that comes to mind. But I am really pleased that this initiative will (hopefully) take place and god- willing, it will have a knock on effect, encouraging other states/countries to do their utmost in the battle for reducing fossil fuel dependency. Keep it up!

  • Keola Jimeno

    This has been an incredible effort by the city of LA and the people of Hawaii applaud LA for thier intiatives. Aloha!

  • Mike Maybury

    10% is not very exciting.
    With the sea nearby, surely we could see wave and tidal energy harnessed too.
    Heat can surely be extracted as the Andreas fault line is close by. Geothermal energy seems unlimited in such a situation.
    Wind energy should also be harnessed, as well as more modest geothermal from the ground under and around buildings. The ground can store excess heat in summer, saving on expensive air conditioning.
    Starting is good, but I would have expected further progress by now.
    Surely LA could aim to be carbon neutral within a limited time.

  • Diana Jackson

    I’m trying to find out whether LA is really going to purchase the almost 950 acres next to the townsite of Niland, CA, along the railroad, for a big solar site. I heard rumors but can’t verify them.

  • Tommy Sand

    10% of one city’s energy demand IS not much. How about people trying to cut down on their energy needs too? That could have immense effect.

    I’m from Denmark. We pay almost 3 times more for the power here than people do in the US. This in itself does not mean that we use less energy, but a big part of the cost goes to initiatives in developing new sources of energy, and into campaigns to make people turn off their electrical appliances.

    How about trying to get people to turn off their computers, TVs, radios etc, when they don’t use them? I’m no statistics expert, but I believe that initiative alone could reduce the demand for electricity with AT LEAST 30% in the US.

    Great Britain have another approach (I’m not sure if this is true for other countries) – lower rates on electricity during night time, in an attempt to even out the demand for electricity. This means less power plants, because the electricity grid is less active during the day. Less power plants (or solar panels, water turbines etc etc) means less over-capacity during the night, and a more steady flow of the production of electricity during any given 24 hour period.

    There are many ways to try and optimize. But in the end, I believe that the biggest impact would come from the consumers. Wasting energy (be it electricity, gas, heat, or anything) is most certainly one of the easiest issues to deal with right now. And it’s all about the price of convenience.

    Having to wait to use your computer until it boots, having to turn your TV on, having to turn the lights on when you enter a room.. Dealing with the heat instead of mindlessly turning on the AC.. A LOT of things can be done by the consumers. And I think that’s very very necessary.

  • Allen R. Gale

    Congrats to LA – we can do this if everyone, especially municipalities and state gov’ts get involved. The worst detractor to anything new is the naysayers that oppose anything new.

    I would really be interesting in knowing the logistics of the municipal efforts. I have at least one town here in Metro Atlanta expressing interest in generating solar-based power for municipal needs and would like to know how we can model LA’s plan.

  • Mike Maybury

    I have passed on this information to our councilors and city chiefs and environmental enthusiasts in Portsmouth, United Kingdom, to show what can be done with a little determination.

    Humans seem to need good examples to follow.

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