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Local Solar

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We increase L.A.’s clean and resilient energy supplies by capturing the energy from our abundant sunshine.

Los Angeles enjoys an abundance of sunshine — 292 days a year, in fact. Collectively, Angelenos also own the largest municipal utility in the country. With these advantages, it’s no wonder that the City’s investment in solar is starting to pay off —generating clean power, reducing pollution, and creating jobs. In fact, jobs in the local solar industry in L.A. County now outnumber jobs in oil and gas drilling and refining combined. Today, Los Angeles has the most installed solar capacity of any American city and is committed to adding more solar infrastructure that drives innovation, creates local green jobs, and— when combined with back-up battery storage—offers grid reliability and keeps the city moving in the event of disaster.

Progress on 2017 Outcomes

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Reduce wait-time for residential solar PV interconnection to less than two weeks

A minimum two-week wait-time was achieved ahead of schedule in March 2016, after L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) streamlined and separated the processes for issuing solar permits and rebates* and energizing new systems. Since the start of online PV permit issuance, 13,061 out of 23,237 PV permits were issued online.

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Upgrade Castaic Pumped-Storage Plant to accommodate intermittent renewable energy sources

The Castaic upgrade has been completed, and accounts for 21 MW of the target set out in Assembly Bill 2514, a California law passed in 2010 requiring electric utilities to develop energy storage procurement plans.

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Increase installed capacity of local solar photovoltaic (PV) power to 400 MW, with authority for an additional 200 MW

Capacity reached 225 MW by end of January. Efforts to streamline permitting, cut interconnection wait- times, relaunch the FiT program, and rollout new solar incentives should bring capacity to 325 MW by late 2017.

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Launch a revised Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)*

IRP process launched spring 2016 and concluded January 2017.
It included several in-person advisory committee meetings with members representing ratepayers, large users, environment and
clean energy, disadvantaged communities, and academia. The modelling of multiple IRP cases was the most comprehensive to date, with more scenarios modeled than any year past to include multiple options for increasing renewable energy, storage, and electric vehicles, and decreasing reliance on natural gas. Public workshops were held in multiple locations in the fall in order to gather community input prior to making a nal recommendation. LADWP’s recommended case was announced in December for public comment and final IRP was presented to the Board in January 2017, which includes an RPS target that beats the state mandated 50%, higher levels of storage and vehicle electrification, and meeting the pLAn local solar goals.

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Install at least 1 MW of solar on L.A. Convention Center roof

Bids are currently under review with the planned installation increased to 2 MW, enough to power more than 550 homes.

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Increase total cumulative MW of energy storage capacity to 24 MW (excluding Castaic Pump- Storage Plant)

Current storage capacity stands at 22.57 MW, which includes upgrades to existing pumped hydro units, new thermal energy storage at LAX, and several behind-the-meter battery installations around the city. LADWP remains on track to meet 24 MW goal.

Key


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Where L.A. Is Leading

At 225 MW, L.A. has the most installed solar power of any city in the U.S.

L.A. is the first U.S. city to offer expedited online permitting for residential solar projects.

Feature Story

City Sets New Record for Rooftop Solar

L.A. is now home to the largest rooftop solar installation in the country—a 2-million-square-foot array built atop four privately owned warehouses on Westmont Drive in San Pedro, adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles. With TruGreen Capital as the project developer, PermaCity teamed up with building owner Black Rock to lay down 16.5 MW of solar. Part of LADWP’s Feed-in-Tari (FiT) program, the Westmont project created 500 local green jobs, with a special focus on hiring veterans, and utilizes three different types of solar panels, including a double-sided design that captures up to 45 percent more power than conventional panels. When fully operational in early 2017, Westmont will generate enough clean electricity to power 4,500 Los Angeles homes.

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“The FiT program is a win for all parties and interests—it creates valuable jobs and compensates business owners while providing a huge environmental win of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions…and moving Los Angeles closer to its clean power generation goals.”

Jonathan Port
CEO, PermaCity

Solar Grows by 25% in Past Year

Local solar in L.A. has grown by 25% over the past year. That’s equivalent to powering an additional 12,000 homes.

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City Wins

Updated and Expanded Solar Incentive Program

Senate Bill 1, the legislation behind California’s $288
million solar incentive program, sunset in 2016. But LADWP continues to incentivize net metered solar in 2017 with a remaining $15 million. To encourage participation in areas with low solar penetration, the City now offers a 50 percent higher incentive in qualifying neighborhoods—mostly disadvantaged communities. In another tilt toward solar equity, all affordable housing projects are now eligible for the non-profit rate.

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Community Solar: Free Solar Rooftop Program

To bring solar savings to low-income Angelenos, LADWP announced its Solar Rooftops Program in January 2017. The three-year pilot program will install panels on 400 residential rooftops. With no up-front costs to customers and LADWP responsible for operation and maintenance of the installed panels, customers just see a credit on their electric bill. In addition, the program creates local jobs through LADWP’s Utility Pre-Craft Trainee Program.

LADWP Officers New Energy- Conservation Incentive

As a direct response to the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, LADWP launched SummerShift, a new demand response program, in June 2016. Over the summer months, LADWP gave large commercial and industrial customers a $10 per kilowatt incentive to cut their power use between the critical hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The program paid out $306,000 and saved 270 MW over the previous summer’s peak consumption levels.

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Partner Wins

Delivering Low-Income Solar

In 2016, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles brought the benefits of free solar energy to 51 low- income families living in some of L.A.’s disadvantaged communities. Teams of GRID volunteers and job trainees donated 100 workdays to install solar electric systems on these families’ homes at no cost.

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Renewables Roundtable Looks into California’s Future

UCLA’s Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge hosted the Southern California Clean Energy Innovation Ecosystem roundtable in May 2016, where 28 leaders from academia, government, national laboratories, non- profits, and industry discussed the region’s immediate and long-term renewable energy needs and challenges with the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. The meeting laid the groundwork for future collaborations on smart grid technology and energy storage, all key elements to decarbonizing L.A. and meeting the city’s greenhouse gas goals.

PACE Speeding Up Solar for More Angelenos

More than 2,000 Los Angeles homeowners across the city have received rooftop solar systems through California’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program since May 2015—saving $63 million on their electric bills collectively over the life of their systems. PACE helps people who often don’t otherwise qualify for a loan to access clean energy, helping residents of all incomes go solar.

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