Solar Power
LA to Get 1,280 MW from Solar Power by 2020

Alt Dot Energy
November 26, 2008

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, has unveiled a solar power plan
for the city that the LA Times calls Ďambitiousí. The plan calls for the city to
get 1,280 MW of power from solar panels by 2020. Personally, I donít feel this
is nearly ambitious enough, especially considering the solar radiation resource
that lies only a few miles away in the Mojave Desert that could be utilised for
Solar Thermal power production.

The plan breaks down into 500 MW from the Mojave Desert in as yet unamed
commercial solar power facilities and 380 MW would come through smaller
programs, including ones that would help low-income people purchase solar
panels. The remaining 400 MW would come from a ballot measure to be voted upon
next March, which would allow the cityís Department of Water & Power to install
rooftop solar panels on LA residentís homes.

The LA Times reports that some questions remain about the plan. Financing the
project could depend in large part on federal tax credits and the city getting
volume discounts for purchasing panels; and there is some contention over the
ballot measure. Some claim that it is written in such a way that DWP employee
unions would be able to lock out competing solar installation companies from
doing the work.

Despite 1,280 megawatts of solar power being a step in the right direction, it
is worth pointing out that it would still only be 10% of the cities power requirements.


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