LADWP solar program expanded

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Sept. 23, 2002 — In unprecedented action to increase, expand and extend the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Solar Incentive Program, the Board of Commissioners yesterday approved measures that will increase incentive payment limits, extend the highest incentive levels for another year and expand the program by allowing large customers to participate in both the LADWP incentive program and a rebate effort of another local utility.

Incentive payment limits for commercial and industrial customers were doubled from $1 million to $2 million per project and increased from $50,000 to $60,000 per project for residential customers.

The highest incentive payments of $4.50 per watt and $6.00 per watt for systems manufactured in Los Angeles, were extended for an additional year until the end of 2003. The over all Solar Program was extended to 2010.

Also, for the first time commercial and industrial customers may participate in the LADWP Solar Incentive Program in addition to The Gas Company’s Self Generation rebate program for projects of 30 kilowatts and above.

“We are pleased to provide larger incentive payments to our customers not only to keep momentum going but to speed it up. The Solar Incentive Program has been growing since its inception and the actions of the Board will ensure continuity for years to come and are expected to result in many more solar projects that will benefit all our customer classes — residential, commercial and industrial,” said David Wiggs, LADWP general manager.

“The approval by the Board of the solar measures will help to further lower the bottom line cost to our customers participating in the Solar program. Customers will receive substantial incentive payments lowering photovoltaic system costs and making solar systems very cost competitive while benefiting the environment,” said Angelina Galiteva, LADWP executive director of Green LA.

To help promote the concept of building integrated designs, incorporating solar into architectural plans, considered the most effective way to provide for solar power, the Board approved a change in the incentive program to now offer up to $1 million or 75% of total system costs for commercial systems and up to and including $50,000 or 75% of the total system costs for residential systems.

To date the existing solar incentives reduce the costs of a solar system by more than half enabling more customers to “go solar.”

Over the past couple of years, with assistance of the LADWP Solar Incentive Program, major installations have been added to the Los Angeles Convention Center and Neutrogena Corporation. Last month, the largest solar system in a Los Angeles religious facility was installed at the new downtown landmark Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles.

Solar power technology has been in use for decades, particularly in space and military applications, but residential and business use has been limited until recently. The local popularity of photovoltaic systems has soared in just two years, from fewer than 20 residential systems, for example, to nearly 200 throughout the city.

Major photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers, Shell Solar and PowerLight Corporation have located assembly facilities in Los Angeles as a result of the LADWP’s Solar Incentive Program. Also, more than 200 contractors have participated in LADWP’s solar training program.

In addition to the Solar Incentive Program, LADWP is also installing solar systems to Los Angeles municipal facilities such as library branches and park facilities as well as to its own utility buildings.

The Solar Program goal is to add the equivalent of 100,000 residential solar rooftop systems by 2010. In addition, the Solar Program seeks to make solar systems a viable option for LADWP customers.

About the Solar Program, Green LA and the LADWP

The Solar Incentive Program offers rebates of $4.50 per watt or $6 per watt, if the system is manufactured in the city of Los Angeles.

The Solar Program is part of the LADWP Green LA Program that also includes: Green Power, purchasing new renewable clean energy; Energy Efficiency that is now offering rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances; Trees for a Green LA, sponsoring workshops for residential customers who can then receive up to seven shade trees free; Electric Transportation, where customers can take a drive in an electric vehicle and learn about the benefits of nearly pollution-free driving; and Cool Schools, providing shade trees and instruction to students while lowering campus energy costs.

Further information about the Solar and other Green LA Programs can be received by logging on to GreenLA.com or phoning 1-800-GreenLA.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest city-owned utility, serves more than 3.8 million people in a 465 square mile service area. LADWP is celebrating its century of service providing water and electric needs to the city’s residents and businesses.

Source: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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