Subsequent to the announcement last week of Los Angeles’ approval of a feed-in tariff, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed an ordinance authorizing the city’s Department of Water and Power to establish a pilot program. Approval of the program by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners has been scheduled for April 17.

The board will determine final program guidelines, decide upon a standard agreement and delegate authority to LADWP general manager Ronald Nichols to approve third-party solar contracts.

If approved by the LADWP board, the FiT demonstration program will initially offer 10MW of solar power generation that can be developed by third-parties and then sold to LADWP for distribution on the city’s power grid. Once the initial 10MW of solar has been deployed, LADWP will roll out a program with a minimum of 75MW. For the demonstration program, projects will be selected based on competitive bids, determining a set contract price per kilowatt hour for up to 20 years.

“Clearly, solar is our best option for increasing local renewable energy, while meeting state renewable energy mandates and channelling economic benefits and job creation to the citizens of Los Angeles,” said Nichols. “If approved by our board, the FiT demonstration program will start us on that path while testing and fine-tuning the program’s structure and elements before launching a full-scale program later this year.”

“It's time we start using one of Los Angeles' most abundant resources – sunshine,” said mayor Villaraigosa. "This ordinance will allow Los Angeles to become the largest city in the nation to implement a feed-in tariff system. We are starting small, testing the market, and making sure we have the best, most cost-effective system for the future.”

"The Los Angeles Business Council and its partners have worked hard to help realize Mayor Villaraigosa’s vision for a robust rooftop solar program in Los Angeles," said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council. "Today we mark the start of this program that will spur new private sector investment, create meaningful jobs for a well trained workforce, and generate local clean energy."

LADWP will conduct three FiT workshops beginning next week for interested persons and prospective bidders to explain the bidding and contracting process prior to accepting project proposals and bids in May.

The FiT is one part of the Mayor’s “all-of-the-above” strategy to build a more sustainable city. Click here for further details.

"Instead of sending hard-earned LADWP customer payments out of the state to buy more dirty coal, we're hiring Los Angeles workers and using the famed Los Angeles sun to help Los Angeles businesses produce clean, affordable solar power for Angelenos across the city," said Evan Gillespie, campaign representative with the Sierra Club in Los Angeles.