Video: LABC Wants Solar for the City of Los Angeles; Recommends a FIT

The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) has made the adoption of solar energy a high priority for the city, creating a program aimed at boosting the installation of clean energy across the city of LA. Should the program be fully adopted, up to 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power could be installed within city boundaries in the next 5-10 years.

Within the city limits, it is easier and less expensive to harness great quantities of solar power from multifamily roofs than from single-family homes or smaller commercial rooftops according to the report, Making a Market: Multifamily Rooftop Solar and Social Equity in Los Angeles. The council says that based on an extensive property survey, many of the rooftops with the greatest solar power are found in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city, the same population that could benefit the most from reduced power bills. 

This “social equity” aspect is an important one to the council. Researchers from UCLA and USC, working in collaboration with the LABC Institute and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sought to determine whether the benefits of a rooftop solar energy program could be brought to low-income residents of Los Angeles and as it turns out, they can.

The council is recommending that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the city’s utility, implement a feed-in tariff (FIT) to encourage solar adoption through an initiative, called CLEAN LA (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now). CLEAN LA hopes to enact a 10-year, 600-MW FIT program with a 75-MW pilot program in place by 2014 (as mandated by state law SB 32), and at least 150 MW by 2016.

In the case of multifamily apartment buildings, the council recommends a FIT rate of 24 to 26 cents per kilowatt-hour for power that is fed back into the utility’s grid.

Previous research by UCLA and the LABC, has shown that a citywide 150-megawatt solar program on commercial and residential rooftops would generate $500 million in local investment, create thousands of quality jobs, and have an impact of as little as 19 cents a month for the average residential customer.

The video below explains more about the program and talks with key stakeholders in the project.

[bc_video account_id=”” player_id=”” video_id=””]

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Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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