Solar in Los Angeles Getting a Boost

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Solar in Los Angeles recently received another boost. After shutting down its solar incentive program in April, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility, has announced that it will restart its solar incentive program once again.

LADWP initially shut down its solar program in April, as it was overwhelmed with applications with not enough money to go around. The LADWP program initially began with around $30 million to provide rebates to homeowners and businesses to install solar on their rooftops. However, the program was inundated with approximately $112 million in requests prompting the city to shut the program down.

With approximately $60 million in funding over the next two years, the program will restart in August or September of this year but with a revised allocation system. Prior, the LADWP provided rebates that were much higher than those provided under the California Solar Initiative (CSI), the state’s primary solar rebate mechanism. Under the new LADWP program, rebates will be more closely aligned with the CSI and they will decrease over time, providing for a more stable and sustainable program.

In addition, city officials are proposing to structure the rebate as a feed-in tariff (FiT). FiT’s have been implemented successfully in Europe as well as parts of Canada, as a means to promote renewable energy adoption. A FiT is essentially where your utility company has to pay you cash for the amount of energy your renewable energy system produces above the amount you consume.

For LADWP, promoting renewable energy is critical not only because of the state’s renewable portfolio standard but also because more than 40% of the DWP’s electricity is imported from coal-fired power plants outside the state, a major source of pollution and cost. In addition, according to the Los Angeles Business Council, DWP’s proposed feed-in tariff, if approved, would generate over 11,000 new jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenues from clean tech companies and 600 megawatts of renewable energy within a decade.

For more information on solar power in California, as well as requesting a solar quote, please visit Solar California.

Photo via Jeremy Levine Design, Solar Panels Los Angeles

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