In June 2013, the first feed-in-tariff (FiT) connection in Los Angeles went live atop an apartment building in North Hollywood. Now, Los Angeles’ rooftop solar energy FiT program, which brings power to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers, is ready for a significant expansion, according to a report by JR DeShazo, director of UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation.
Under the FiT program, electric power generated by solar rooftop installations on businesses is sold to the LADWP.
After numerous interviews with primary stakeholders, including participating property owners, the UCLA researchers evaluated the initial two phases of the program, representing about 40 MW of solar power. These two allocations received a total of 256 program applications. Based on the successful rollout, the research team concluded that the FiT program is on track to deliver 100 MW by 2015. The cost of the energy averages 15 cents per kWh.
Rooftops of office buildings, warehouses and apartments within the Los Angeles basin represent about 10,000 acres of space, according to Brad Cox, chairman of the Los Angeles Business Council Institute.
The UCLA analysis confirms that applications received for the first two waves of the program came from each of LA’s 15 City Council districts, with the largest number coming from the San Fernando Valley and others coming from South Los Angeles. The FiT is seen by many as a geographic complement to the LADWP’s existing net metering solar program, whose participants are largely on LA’s west side.