In unprecedented action to increase, expand and extend the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Solar Incentive Program, the Board of Commissioners yesterday approved measures that will increase incentive payment limits, extend the highest incentive levels for another year and expand the program by allowing large customers to participate in both the LADWP incentive program and a rebate effort of another local utility.Los Angeles, California – September 19, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Incentive payment limits for commercial and industrial customers were doubled from US$1 million to US$2 million per project and increased from US$50,000 to US$60,000 per project for residential customers. The highest incentive payments of US$4.50 per watt and US$6.00 per watt for systems manufactured in Los Angeles, were extended for an additional year until the end of 2003. The over all Solar Program was extended to 2010. Also, for the first time commercial and industrial customers may participate in the LADWP Solar Incentive Program in addition to The Gas Company’s Self Generation rebate program for projects of 30 kW and above. “We are pleased to provide larger incentive payments to our customers not only to keep momentum going but to speed it up. The Solar Incentive Program has been growing since its inception and the actions of the Board will ensure continuity for years to come and are expected to result in many more solar projects that will benefit all our customer classes – residential, commercial and industrial,” said David Wiggs, LADWP general manager. To help promote the concept of building integrated designs, incorporating solar into architectural plans, considered the most effective way to provide for solar power, the Board approved a change in the incentive program to now offer up to US$1 million or 75 percent of total system costs for commercial systems and up to and including US$50,000 or 75 percent of the total system costs for residential systems. To date the existing solar incentives reduce the costs of a solar system by more than half enabling more customers to “go solar.” Over the past couple of years, with assistance of the LADWP Solar Incentive Program, major installations have been added to the Los Angeles Convention Center and Neutrogena Corporation. Last month, the largest solar system in a Los Angeles religious facility was installed at the new downtown landmark Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles. Solar power technology has been in use for decades, particularly in space and military applications, but residential and business use has been limited until recently. The local popularity of photovoltaic systems has soared in just two years, from fewer than 20 residential systems, for example, to nearly 200 throughout the city. Major PV manufacturers, Shell Solar and PowerLight Corporation have located assembly facilities in Los Angeles as a result of the LADWP’s Solar Incentive Program. Also, more than 200 contractors have participated in LADWP’s solar training program. In addition to the Solar Incentive Program, LADWP is also installing solar systems to Los Angeles municipal facilities such as library branches and park facilities as well as to its own utility buildings. The Solar Program goal is to add the equivalent of 100,000 residential solar rooftop systems by 2010. In addition, the Solar Program seeks to make solar systems a viable option for LADWP customers. The Solar Incentive Program offers rebates of US$4.50 per watt or US$6 per watt, if the system is manufactured in the city of Los Angeles. The Solar Program is part of the LADWP Green LA Program that also includes: Green Power, purchasing new renewable clean energy; Energy Efficiency that is now offering rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances; Trees for a Green LA, sponsoring workshops for residential customers who can then receive up to seven shade trees free; Electric Transportation, where customers can take a drive in an electric vehicle and learn about the benefits of nearly pollution-free driving; and Cool Schools, providing shade trees and instruction to students while lowering campus energy costs.