LADWP Moves Forward with City’s Largest Solar Array

LADWP Moves Forward with City’s Largest Solar Array

Board of Water and Power Commissioners Approves Initial Environmental Documents to Install Solar Photovoltaic Panels on City Reservoir

Project Will Generate 5 Megawatts of Clean, Renewable Energy

LOS ANGELES — As part of its strategic initiative to expand local solar generation, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) advanced plans Tuesday to build a 5-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic installation atop a covered reservoir in the Granada Hills area.

Called the Van Norman Bypass Reservoir Solar Project, the $15.3 million project will become the city’s largest solar array, involving construction of solar modules on a 575,000-square-foot rigid roof that covers a potable water reservoir. The project will help the City of Los Angeles meet its renewable energy goals as well as pending state renewable energy goals.

“This is an exciting step as we launch our initiative to expand development of local solar on city-owned property,” said Lee Kanon Alpert, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, which approved the initial environment documents required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

“This project will foster the city’s green economy and help create green jobs. It also demonstrates our strategy of developing renewable energy in a thoughtful and cost-effective way by leveraging existing assets, including one of our own reservoirs,” LADWP General Manager Austin Beutner said.

The Van Norman Solar Project will be constructed over a six-month period in late 2011. However, proceeding with the project is subject to funding allocation.

The reservoir, located off Interstate 5 in the Granada Hills section of the San Fernando Valley, contains about 80 million gallons of treated drinking water, about one-third of the city’s normal supply. It is covered by a corrugated aluminum roof supported by trusses and braces.

The environmental study approved by the Board found no significant environmental effects from the project.