Los Angeles Shakes Up Solar PV Program

The Los Angeles Department Board of Water (LADWP) and Power Commissioners approved a substantial solar funding plan which both increases funding for the program but also calls for a temporary pause in new application submissions until the existing solar customer commitments can be fulfilled. The plan, approved unanimously by the board, offers a long-term solution to meet increasing requests by customers eager to participate in one of the largest solar electric system installation programs in the nation.

Los Angeles, June 19, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] 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. “The LADWP program has already fostered the creation of a solar industry in Los Angeles,” Mayor Jim Hahn said. “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 said that the company 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,” Wiggs said. “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.” LADWP invests in new technologies to support the development of renewable and alternative sources of power, including solar, distributed generation, demand side management, hydro, landfill gas, fuel cells and biomass.
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