16.4-MW solar project to be built under the Los Angeles FiT program

A Los Angeles-based solar developer will build the largest solar Feed-in Tariff project in the nation this year, a 16.4-MW solar array on the roofs of the Westmont Drive buildings in Los Angeles.

Project backers said April 29 that this facility will generate solar energy for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers, and is more than triple the capacity of the next largest Feed-in Tariff project, located in East Los Angeles.

PermaCity CEO Jonathan Port announced the project at the 10th anniversary of the Los Angeles Business Council’s (LABC) Sustainability Summit, where hundreds of leaders from across the public and private sectors gathered to discuss the most pressing sustainability issues.

The Westmont project is the latest, and largest, project to take advantage of LADWP’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program, which enables building owners to turn their rooftops into solar power plants and sell the power they generate for distribution on the city’s power grid. The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation estimates that when fully implemented, the 150-MW FiT pilot program in Los Angeles will have attracted $500 million in direct private investment.

“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, combatting the ‘heat island’ effect, and moving Los Angeles closer to its clean power generation goals,” said Port.

“PermaCity’s announcement as well as the findings of the new FiT Pays report provides incredible business validation and momentum for local solar in Los Angeles,” said LABC President Mary Leslie. “We are leading the region and the nation with FiT.”

According to Leslie, PermaCity’s new project at the Port of Los Angeles will be a model not just for creating clean energy but for bringing jobs to communities and profits for local business owners. “Every time we flip the switch on a new FiT project, we’re closer to Mayor [Eric] Garcetti’s Sustainability plAn goal of bringing 1,500 megawatts of local solar to L.A. by 2025,” she said.

Since the launch of the FiT program in 2013, 23 projects have been completed, generating a total of 14 MW of renewable energy. As many as 88 additional megawatts are expected to come online within the next year to help LADWP meet its state-mandated renewable energy requirement.

The Westmont project is more than triple the size of the 5.1-MW project at the headquarters of fashion retailer Forever 21 in East Los Angeles, which ranks among the largest such projects in the world.

PermaCity works with specialized energy solutions. Its growth is based on a long track record with multiple big-box stores and industrial projects as well as the strong relationships forged with clients such as Forever 21, Cathay Bank, Samsung and Costco.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.