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.
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.