Developer Plans Massive Rooftop Solar Project In L.A.


Solar developer PermaCity plans to build a 16.4 MW, 2-million-square-foot rooftop solar project on four privately owned warehouses near the Port of Los Angeles.

The project, announced at the Los Angeles Business Council’s (LABC) Sustainability Summit, will be located at Westmont Drive in San Pedro. The LABC says the array represents the largest project built under the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) feed-in tariff (FIT) program to date; it is more than triple the capacity of the next largest FIT project, a 5.1 MW project at the headquarters of fashion retailer Forever 21 in East Los Angeles.

According to the LABC, the Westmont project is estimated to generate $76 million in revenue from clean energy sold back to the LADWP over the life of the 20-year lease, with 85% to 90% of revenues going back to the unidentified building owner. The project is also expected to create 500 new local jobs.

“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, combating the ‘heat island’ effect and moving Los Angeles closer to its clean power generation goals,” says Jonathan Port, CEO of PermaCity.

A new LABC study says that since the 2013 launch of the FIT program, which enables building owners to turn their rooftops into solar plants and sell the power they generate for distribution on the city’s power grid, 23 projects totaling 14 MW have been completed. The report says the FIT attracts investment and generates returns, and as many as 88 MW more are expected to come online within the next year.

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