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Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Andrew

7

Los Angeles Kicks Off Second Round Solar Feed-in Tariff

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July 9th, 2013 by
 
The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) has begun accepting applications for its second 20-megawatt (MW) round of Solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program. A pioneering type of clean energy incentive here in the US, LADWP’s FiT has proved hugely popular with homeowners, businesses, and project developers across the City of Angels.

metro-solar-panels

The largest publicly owned utility in the US, LADWP launched the FiT solar program with an initial 20 MW of contracts in February, agreeing to pay 17 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for smaller scale solar power projects ranging from 30 kW to 3 MW. It was hugely oversubscribed: 136 applications for 115 MW of solar power capacity were received.

20 Megawatts More Solar In LA Please…

LADWP anticipates another strong response to its upcoming second round of FiT solar program. For the second-round FiT. LADWP will sign a standard offer contract of up to 20 years and purchase the clean, renewable electricity produced from each qualified project at 16 cents/kWh.

Los Angeles has been making a big effort to reduce the amount of electricity originating from coal-fueled power plants. Then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2009 announced that the city will not buy power from coal-fueled power plants come 2020. Participants in the city’s Solar Incentive Program had 22 MW of rooftop solar power installed in LADWP’s 2011-2012 fiscal year, up from 9 MW the previous year and 5 MW in 2009-2010.

The first LADWP FiT solar project was installed on the roof of the Oxnard Plaza Apartments in North Hollywood on June 26. Sixty of the first-round applications have passed technical screening and 27 have received interconnection cost studies to date, LADWP states in a press release.

LA’s Pioneering FiT Solar Program

The FiT has several distinguishing features, Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program director and Clean Technica contributor John Farrell points out in a June 18 post.

Looking to make the process as equitable and broad-based as possible, for instance, applications received during the first five days (July 8 – July 12) “will be prioritized on the FiT Reservation List by lottery; applications thereafter will be prioritized in the order received,” LADWP explains in its press release.

LADWP’s plan calls for accepting proposals in 20 MW increments every six months through 2016 until the FiT Solar program’s total 100-MW capacity allocation has been reached.

Prices paid by LADWP for solar-generated electricity will decline according to a tiered structure. The rate received by project bidders declines 1 cent/kWh as the power capacity caps for each reserved price tier are reached.

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.



  • Paul Kangas

    All hands on deck.

  • Paul Kangas

    Mayor, do the math.
    You can’t shut down coal by going slow.
    We need to have a totally open application so even a farmer, with 10 acres, can install 1,000 panels and start feeding solar onto the grid.

    We need to push for LA to become 100% solar by 2050.

    To get there, we need to get serious. This is war.
    We need every person who wants to join this campaign to be able to buy 20 panels today and feed their energy into the grid, so they can keep adding 20 panels every year until that have a mini-Utility.
    This is a great investment opportunity.
    Germany is going to be at 35% solar by 2020. LA has 10X more solar than Germany.
    We could be at 50% solar by 2020 if you were serious.
    I guess we need a major melt down at a nuke before you will wake up.
    Whoops! We just had one, again,
    at Fukushima.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Not 100% solar, that’s not practical with the storage options we have right now.

      100% renewable by 2025 is doable. Palo Alto is already there.

  • Paul Kangas

    Let’s get serious. We need to push solar to displace gas and nukes.
    LA needs an open FiT that allows every home owners with 30 or more panels to be paid a fair and reasonable rate for the solar they feed into the grid. There should be no limit on the number of panels a property can have.
    Germany started out paying $0.54 kwh. Ontario started out with $0.79 kwh.
    I believe LA should pay $0.33 kwh for the next 20 year contracts.
    Farmers in Germany can make $60,000. a year for 20 years.
    A home owners should be able to make $500. a month selling solar.
    Let’s get serious.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We need a good plan. But it’s also important to realize that there is a maximum amount of solar the grid can absorb without better storage options.

      The plan should get us to max-practical solar ASAP.

  • Matt

    “136 applications for 115 MW” for first round of 20MW; and now doing one every 6 months. That means the first round already got enough application for 3 years. This sounds like another plan to keep the amount of solar down. I’ll keep waiting until I win the FIT lottery. With that many will they need to go to every two months (or month).

    Mayor say no coal by 2020; but 40MW a year will not get them there.

    • Paul Kangas

      Matt, you are right. Please email me so we can expand the LA FiT. I am buying a solar home in Lancaster. dr8kangas@gmail.com 415-368-8581

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