A City Councilmember Huizar ‘Flips the Switch’ on Boyle Heights’ First Large Scale Feed-in Tariff Solar Project
LOS ANGELES–Honorable Councilmember Jose Huizar of the 14th District officially turned on the switch on a new 300 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) system at the Angeles Grand Plaza, to celebrate energizing the first large scale rooftop solar project in Boyle Heights, developed in partnership with the business community through LADWP’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program.
Also present were: Michael Webster, LADWP’s Interim Director of the Power System, Engineering and Technical Services; Mary Leslie, President of the LA Business Council; Brad Goode of Edge 3 Holdings, solar installer; and Jacob Levy of Levy Affiliated Holdings, the building owner.
The new rooftop solar system joins a smaller, already existing 30 kW PV system in Boyle Heights. Both were developed through the FiT Program, which was the largest program of its kind run by any city in the United States when it launched in 2012. LADWP’s goal is to provide 150 megawatts (MW) of energy through its FiT program in compliance with state legislation SB1332.
“I am excited to see a local business step up and join the CLEAN LA Solar movement in Boyle Heights,” said Councilmember Huizar. “I hope it inspires others in Council District 14 and throughout the City of Los Angeles to apply to this valuable, environmentally friendly program, which creates jobs and clean, renewable energy while reducing pollution.”
The project is located in an area described by USC and UCLA researchers as a “solar equity hotspot,” because of the large number of empty rooftops and an economically disadvantaged population in need of community investment.
Webster emphasized the importance of the FiT Program in job creation and economic development. “Going forward, LADWP would be thrilled to see developers and property owners invest in green projects like this one in Boyle Heights and other communities like it throughout Los Angeles that need it the most,” he said of the program, which has cultivated contractor’s hiring area workers from local workforce training programs like Homeboy Industries’ Solar Panel Training and Installation Program based out of the Los Angeles Skill Center.
LADWP’s FiT program provided a financial incentive for developers and/or property owners to harness underutilized rooftop space to generate clean, solar energy and sell it at a profit. The FiT program is vital to LADWP reaching its target of 33% renewables by 2020 as it diversified its energy portfolio and transitions away from coal fired energy.
The size of the project and the participation of property owner Levy Affiliated Holdings is an important milestone that serves as a model to promote the benefits of the FiT Program to other businesses. “We’re proud to be part of a solar program that is leading the nation, creating jobs and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. I encourage other building owners to see what kind of rooftop solar potential their buildings may have,” said Jacob Levy of Levy Affiliated Holdings.
To date, 16 FiT solar projects have been placed in service with an energy capacity of 7.8 MW. An additional 11.7 MW of solar FiT projects have approved contracts and are pending construction. “We still have more work to do but projects like these, in conjunction with LADWP’s other sustainability programs serve as critical investments in the future of reliable and coal-free energy in LA,” said Webster.
For more information about LADWP’s FiT Program and other solar programs, visit www.ladwp.com/solar.