A large beauty products firm will become the first major company to install a solar electric system in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES, California – Neutrogena Corporation will install two 100 kW photovoltaic installations at two buildings at its corporate headquarters facility near the L.A. International Airport. The cost to install 24,000 square feet of PV panels is $1.4 million and the installation will be the largest in the California city. The PV system will reduce energy consumption by 20 percent monthly. The project will begin in May and will be completed in two months. “This is precisely the type of innovation and leadership we need from California-based businesses and municipal utilities to help solve the energy crisis on a long term basis,” said California Assembly Speaker Fred Keeley (D-Santa Cruz). “Solar power system contributions to our energy needs are immediate, and the environmental benefits enduring.” “We are excited that Neutrogena is stepping up and assuming the role of the first major LA-based company to sign up for solar,” says Angelina Galiteva of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). “The installation is also the largest in the city and the commitment will help to greatly enhance the environment.” The solar system will eliminate 513,000 pounds of carbon that is emitted to the environment each year, and the annual cost savings to Neutrogena is equivalent to the cost of powering 100 average size homes in the city of Los Angeles. Neutrogena is a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson company. “Neutrogena takes great pride in its commitment to new ideas and innovation with our products in the marketplace,” says president Michael McNamara. “With equal pride, we are pleased to partner with LADWP in this leadership role in our community, to help resolve the energy crisis plaguing California.” Neutrogena will benefit from LADWP’s Solar Buy Down Program that provides an incentive of $5 per watt because the PV modules will be provided by Siemens Solar. PowerLight will design and install the system. Siemens has sited a facility in Los Angeles, and their modules qualify for the higher incentive. Solar systems manufactured outside the city qualify for an incentive of $3 per watt installed. The maximum payment for a residential site is $50,000 and up to $1 million for a commercial site. The Neutrogena project will receive the maximum incentive payment. In its 2000 plan, LADWP cites the increased use of solar photovoltaics in reducing emissions and electricity demand. Industry experts predict the $1.5 billion solar electric market will double by 2005 and again in 2010. A 2,000 watt system can supply an average home with 20 to 60 percent of its electricity. With the incentive, a 2kW system costs $8,000 and generates 3,600 kWh per year, thereby avoiding the need for LADWP to burn 3.7 tons of coal to produce the same amount of electricity, and displacing the emission of 10,000 pounds of GHG. “Visibility and volume are key to actually demonstrating the viability of PV technology,” adds Galiteva. “By driving the costs down and recognizing the benefit of the investment in monthly energy savings for the long term, solar should be an attractive option for all LADWP customers.” LADWP has a goal of installing 100,000 solar rooftops by 2010. Neutrogena has manufactured dermatology and skin, hair and cosmetic products for 40 years. Its headquarters is in Los Angeles. LADWP serves 3.8 million people in Los Angeles with water and electricity, and offers a number of solar programs under its ‘Green LA’ initiatives that include Green Power, Energy Efficiency, Electric Transportation, Cool Schools, New Technologies and Recycling efforts.