LOS ANGELES, Calif., Aug. 15, 2002 — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) recently added the City’s newest landmark — the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels — to its growing list of solar power customers and in the process gained strong advocates in Cardinal Roger Mahony and other religious leaders throughout the city, General Manager David Wiggs announced.
“I couldn’t think of a better partnership — the nation’s largest municipal utility joining with the nation’s largest Catholic Archdiocese to promote renewable energy,” Wiggs said. “Like the Cardinal, LADWP is committed to improving the environment and together we can let more people know that solar power is clean and emission-free.”
The solar panels, which are on the roof of the cathedral’s conference center, will generate enough energy for 66 homes. The Archdiocese is paying for the 66 kilowatt-system with the assistance of LADWP’s Solar Incentive Program, Wiggs said.
“Recently, the residents of the city of Los Angeles get their first look at our great city’s newest landmark, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry. “The decision by Cardinal Mahony and the Catholic Archdiocese to partner with the LADWP in the solar buydown program demonstrates Archdiocese long-term commitment to the preservation of our environment for future Angelenos.”
Cardinal Mahony was personally involved in the integration of the solar power in the cathedral complex.
“In the new cathedral, light becomes a beautiful symbol of the transcendent. In a wonderfully different way, these solar panels will transform the gift of light into a clean and renewable source of energy for many centuries to come,” Cardinal Mahony said. “I am both pleased and proud that our cathedral is the first religious building in our city to become solar-power friendly. It is my hope that this partnership between LADWP and the Los Angeles Interfaith Environmental Council (LAIEC) will encourage the creation of similar `green sanctuaries’ throughout the City of Angels.”
In support of Cardinal Mahony, Lee Wallach, LAIEC co-chair, and board member of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, said, “By embracing renewable energy in such a pro-active and comprehensive manner, the Cardinal is not only sustaining a healthy environment and quality of life for our children and grandchildren in Los Angeles, he is establishing the moral compass for the rest of the nation by setting this extraordinary example of environmental stewardship.”
“The Archdiocese is a green power customer and is also committed to using electric vehicles and promoting energy efficiency. Our success in promoting a greener LA is due in large measure to our community, civic and business partners,” Wiggs said.
The LADWP Solar Incentive Program makes it easier for Department customers to pay for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at their homes, business or places of worship.
The program pays $4.50 to $6.00 per watt for installed solar systems. The higher incentive is provided for those systems manufactured in the city of Los Angeles. The solar panels at the cathedral were manufactured by PowerLight Corporation using panels from the Shell Solar (formerly Siemens Solar) plant in Chatsworth.
“Recently’s announcement is a good example of how LADWP’s innovative solar program is achieving its core mission of encouraging Los Angeles area businesses and residents to go solar,” said Angelina Galiteva, LADWP executive director of Green LA. “But, it’s also a great illustration of the how LADWP’s solar program is continuing to generate economic development and provide jobs to the city of Los Angeles.
“We are thrilled to work with Cardinal Mahony and the Archdiocese in bringing the latest and most cost effective environmental initiatives to this beautiful cathedral facility and to religious institutions throughout Los Angeles. Our Green LA initiatives are not only good for the environment and help lower costs, but can also serve to enhance aesthetic qualities of buildings,” Galiteva added.
The Department also announced it had completed training for installers of solar photovoltaic systems. As the program matured, the number of systems being added to the LADWP electrical system increased, requiring the Department to implement a training program to ensure that a pool of qualified installers were ready handle the rapid volume increase.
Green LA and LADWP
The Solar Power Program is one in a series of Green LA initiatives that also include Green Power, Energy Efficiency, Electric Transportation, Tree Planting for a Green LA, Cool Schools Tree Planting and Recycling.
Further information about the Solar Power Program or Green LA initiative can be received by logging on to GreenLA.com. LADWP customers can also gain information by phoning 1-800-Green LA.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is celebrating its 100th year of providing water and energy services to residents and businesses within the 465-square mile city of Los Angeles service area.
LA Interfaith Environmental Council and Green Sanctuaries Program
The Los Angeles Interfaith Environmental Council (LAIEC) is a coalition of religious leaders dedicated to repairing, protecting and preserving our environment while integrating a spiritual vision of sustainability and responsibility throughout the natural world. The LAIEC’s Green Sanctuaries Program is an effort to encourage religious institutions in Los Angeles to adopt solar power, conservation measures, effective use of natural resources, and other environmentally friendly initiatives.