The Los Angeles Department Board of Water and Power Commissioners has approved a substantial solar funding plan that reaffirms the department’s commitment to the environment, renewable energy and the Los Angeles economy.Los Angeles, California – June 25, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The plan, approved unanimously by the Board, offers a long-term solution to meet escalating requests by customers eager to participate in one of the largest solar electric system installation programs in the nation. LADWP’s 10-year, US$150 million solar photovoltaic buy-down incentive program, running through June 2011, encourages residents and businesses to use clean, renewable energy by subsidizing the cost of installing solar electric systems. The proposal responds to escalating customer interest in solar power by increasing the budget for the program in this fiscal year and next to help meet the rise in demand. It also calls for a temporary pause in new application submissions until the existing solar customer commitments can be fulfilled. “Solar energy is a strategic resource for the City of Los Angeles,” said Mayor Jim Hahn. “Solar power is clean, and once it is in operation, solar can provide significant cost savings to energy consumers facing the effects of rising natural gas prices. The LADWP program has already fostered the creation of a solar industry in Los Angeles. Today’s vote to reaffirm LADWP’s original commitment will boost this industry’s confidence and lead to more growth.” LADWP General Manager David Wiggs added: “The LADWP is fully committed to its solar program. The proposal we submitted for Board approval demonstrates the Department’s environmental leadership in bringing this clean renewable power source to the city’s customers.” Prior to the Commission vote, Wiggs pledged that LADWP would fulfill all confirmed reservations for the solar buy-down. He added that the temporary pause in new application submissions would not correlate into a delay in approving installations or funding for confirmed reservations. “In the last year, requests to participate in LADWP’s solar program increased dramatically. We will expand the annual budget for this program to US$20 million this fiscal year and US$16 million the following year to help meet the rise in demand. Subsequent years will be funded at the levels originally planned, ranging from US$8-16 million per year.” “The program, when fully implemented, will increase LADWP’s renewable portfolio, and will help spark the market for solar power so that, eventually, a solar industry in Los Angeles can thrive, even without subsidies,” said LADWP Assistant General Manager Lillian Kawasaki. “With natural gas prices rising, Los Angeles is making a wise investment in alternatives that can reduce the city’s need for fossil fuels.” The Solar Power Program is part of the LADWP Green LA Programs that also include Energy Efficiency, Trees for a Green LA, Cool Schools Tree Planting, Green Power for a Green LA, Electric Transportation and Recycling.