Los Angeles Flips the Switch on Its First Feed-In Tariff Project

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Less than six months after LA launched its largest-in-the-country feed-in tariff (FIT) program, the city is already seeing results. Last week, Mayor Antonio Villaragosa, LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols and a group of solar supporters gathered on the roof of a multi-family apartment building in North Hollywood to to officially “flip the switch” on the first solar panel installation to be interconnected to the city’s power grid under the program. Congratulations, LA– what a great way to celebrate summer!

Following many months of research, advocacy and education about the benefits of adding more rooftop solar in the City by the Los Angeles Business Council, Sierra Club California and other Vote Solar allies, LADWP committed to go beyond the 75 megawatts required by state law and ensure at least 150 megawatts will be built under the FIT program. That’s in addition to the City’s existing behind-the-meter solar program that provides incentives to homes, businesses and others that want to install net metered systems and offset their own power use from the grid (which is hugely popular by the way! See the latest polling to prove it: “Southern California Latinos support solar“).

LADWP’s FIT program supports renewable energy projects with a 20-year, fixed price contract starting at 17¢ per kilowatt-hour (before time of day adjustments) and decreasing over time. Projects must be between 30 kW and 3 MW in size, and the program will roll out in five, 20 megawatt (MW) phases every six months over the next 3 years. A full 20% of capacity in each phase (4 MW) will be set aside for smaller projects, between 30 and 150 kW. LADWP will begin accepting applications for the second 20 MW allocation of the program on Monday, July 8.

For more Vote Solar analysis on best practices in FIT program design, check out our January blog post on the topic. For more information about the LADWP Feed-in Tariff Program, please visit www.ladwp.com/fit.

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

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Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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