Southern California environment news and trends

LA city council lets DWP's solar buyback program move forward

solar plant

Photo credit: LADWP

Located about 65 miles north of L.A. near the community of Adelanto, Calif. The project produces 10 MW (AC) power, which is enough energy to meet the needs of 3,300 typical homes each year.

The L-A city council decided today not to block the start of a program that lets owners of rooftop solar units sell energy back to the grid. 

The L.A. Board of Water Commissioners approved the program earlier this month, after about a year’s worth of public meetings and political discussions.

But the DWP’s ratepayer advocate, Fred Pickel, said the program would overpay mid-sized solar energy generators for their power. He also criticized the estimated 15 extra cents a month the plan would cost the average household. DWP officials thought that was a small price for consumers to pay to help meet state renewable energy targets.

Pickel’s report piqued the interest of LA city councilmembers, so they called today's hearing.

A capacity crowd turned out , many of them supporters of environmental or business interests. They urged the council to let the program go forward.

In the end, the council agreed. So starting next month, the DWP will begin looking to buy up to 20 megawatts of renewable energy from rooftops, open spaces, and parking lots every six months.

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