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Community News Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

LADWP Board of Commissioners Approves Solar Feed-in-Tariff Program

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Water and Power Commissioners today approved the creation of a Solar Feed-in Tariff Demonstration Program for 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power, opening up solar power generation to a broad array of customers and solar developers in Los Angeles.

A workshop is scheduled tonight at LADWP’s downtown headquarters to ensure that interested participants understand how the new program will work. Additional workshops are slated for Thursday afternoon at the Century Plaza Towers and April 24 in Bishop for those interested in developing solar in LADWP’s Owens Valley service area.
The Demonstration Program will allow solar power to be developed by third-parties and then sold to LADWP for distribution on the city’s power grid. Once the initial 10 MW of solar has been deployed, LADWP will roll out a program of between 75 MW and 150 MW based on information learned from the demonstration phase, rate support and stakeholder input.

“We are blessed with sunshine nearly year-round here in Los Angeles so starting this program has been a priority for this Board and the Department,” said Board President Thomas S. Sayles. “Tapping into local solar power is the right approach for Los Angeles as we increase green energy in our power mix and work to comply with state mandates that set renewable energy levels.”

The Los Angeles City Council previously gave its blessing to the LADWP’s Feed-in Tariff Program by adopting an ordinance that gives LADWP’s Board of Water and Power Commissioners administrative discretion to enter into the many long-term standard contracts that previously required a more lengthy process of Council approval. The action also permits the Board to delegate that authority to LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ordinance last Thursday.

The LADWP Board today approved the Solar Feed-in Tariff Demonstration Program Guidelines, along with the standard purchase agreement and interconnection agreement that will be required of FiT projects. The Board’s action also delegated authority for General Manager Nichols to approve the FiT contracts.

The Demonstration Program will allow third-parties to generate solar from small and medium-scale projects, and sell the power to LADWP for distribution on the electric grid. Projects will be selected based on competitive bids, which will determine a set contract price per kilowatt-hour, for up to 20 years. The program will set aside a prescribed amount of smaller and larger solar generation projects.

The new program will complement LADWP’s existing Solar Incentive Program, an incentive-based, net-meter program. Through the net-meter program, customers displace energy that would otherwise be supplied by LADWP and receive a credit on their bill for solar generation that exceeds the amount of energy they consume.

“In addition to residential customers, the FiT program will open up local solar development to rooftop real estate, such as warehouses, multi-family developments and other large rooftop structures beyond those that currently benefit from our Solar Incentive Program,” said Aram Benyamin, Senior Assistant General Manager, LADWP Power System.

“The fact that we’ve received a tremendous amount of interest from folks wanting to attend the workshops confirms just how vital this program is for Los Angeles,” Mr. Benyamin added.

In developing the FiT Demonstration Program, LADWP incorporated key feedback received during a series of public workshops over the past year. LADWP also took from lessons learned by other national and international FiT programs.
The FiT workshops are designed for interested persons and prospective bidders to explain the bidding and contracting process prior to accepting project proposals/bids in May. Dates and locations of the workshops are as follows:

Downtown Los Angeles
Tuesday, April 17 – 6:30 p.m.
LADWP Headquarters
111 North Hope Street
A-Level Auditorium
Los Angeles, CA 90012
RSVP Downtown Workshop

West Los Angeles
Thursday, April 19 – 2:00 p.m.
Century Plaza Towers
2049 Century Park East
Concourse Level, Conference Room A/B
Los Angeles, CA 90067
RSVP closed – meeting at capacity

Owens Valley
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – 6:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
205 North Fowler Street
Bishop, CA 93514
RSVP Owens Valley Workshop

For additional information on solar power in the City of Los Angeles, please click the following links: