Mayor Joins Effort to Make LA a “Solar City”

A new proposal to greatly expand investment and deployment of solar energy in the city of Los Angeles could see an additional 70 to 80 MW of new installments in the city and contribute towards clean energy generation and offer new job opportunities.

Mayor Jim Hahn, Councilman Eric Garcetti, actress Sharon Lawrence and other political, business and environmental leaders joined Matt Petersen, President of Global Green USA to unveil Global Green’s new “Solar City” Report at the Los Angeles City Hall. In their new report, “Solar City: How Los Angeles Can Gain the Economic and Environmental Competitive Edge,” Global Green USA challenged the city of LA to put solar on city controlled or influenced city buildings, affordable housing, and schools over the next 15 years. And a key force, the Mayor Hahn is behind the proposal. “The writing is on the wall…California, Arizona, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, Chicago…all these states and cities are seeing the potential of solar energy and LA should be at the front of the pack,” Mayor Hahn said. “We can create clean, local jobs here for our residents.” With Global Green USA’s proposed goal, 70 MW to 80 MW of solar PV can be installed on available roof space with modest solar systems that help reduce peak demand and lessen air pollution by preventing “dirty peaker” plants turning on in the hottest days of summer. This goal amounts to an estimated 1 percent of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) electricity generating capacity over the next 10 years. “Expanding LADWP’s solar PV program for affordable housing sites means more career-track, living-wage energy-sector jobs in our city,” Garcetti said. “It means lower utility bills for low income housing tenants. It means we double the benefits of green power, because these economic benefits come with cleaner air for all of us.” The proposed goal would be in addition to the existing solar program, and would be integrated into the city’s recently adopted Renewable Portfolio Standard which calls for increasing renewable power to 20 percent of the city’s energy. This policy can also leverage the tremendous growth of green building in the LA basin, as evidenced by the $15 billion in new green construction underway by LACCD, LAUSD, and the City of Los Angeles. “Los Angeles could become a Solar City, a veritable Solar Silicon Valley,” said Matt Petersen. “We can generate high wage jobs, stimulate our economy, and clean our air by installing solar panels on all city buildings.” Solar enthusiast and Global Green supporter and actor Edward Norton commented that “putting solar on affordable housing helps reduce energy bills for low-income families.” Norton, a trustee of the Enterprise Foundation has thrown his weight behind and effort with the foundation and BP called the “Solar Neighbors Program”, which puts solar on homes in low-income neighborhoods all across the city. The Vice President of the Enterprise Foundation, Ann Sewill, and Jan McFarland, Vice President and California Director, Americans for Solar Power (ASPv)/PV Manufacturers Alliance also spoke out about the growing opportunities for solar power and Louise Rishoff, District Director for Assemblymember Fran Pavley (Chair, Assembly Budget Committee) applauded Global Green’s leadership in promoting solar for affordable housing. Solar panel displays were provided by Kyocera Solar, Sharp Solar, Shell Solar and Powerlight. “Solar PV is the power people want in their own neighborhood to generate electricity,” Jan McFarland, Vice President and California Director of Americans for Solar Power (ASPv). “The Solar City plan is an appropriate step for Los Angeles on the path to being the leading solar city it deserves to be. Building solar electricity now will save money and spare the air — it’s smart policy for Los Angeles and an important part of California’s push to become the world leader in solar power.” Global Green USA, the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International led by Mikhail S. Gorbachev, works in cooperation with individuals, industry, and governments to create a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. Global Green also announced its co-sponsoring of the Pavley Bill (AB 1383) which will help fund “net zero energy” solar for affordable housing.

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