Solar System atop Panorama City Warehouse Among Wave of New Investments to Bolster Climate Resilience in Valley Communities
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With a flip of a ceremonial switch, Los Angeles elected officials, business leaders, and community partners celebrated one of the largest rooftop solar panel systems to be installed in the Northeast San Fernando Valley – a new 1.5-megawatt solar array atop a warehouse in Panorama City that will generate enough renewable energy to power 200 homes.
The Valley project is the latest to take advantage of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Feed-in Tariff (FiT) solar program, which enables building owners to create solar power plants on their rooftops and sell the power they generate to the Department for distribution on the city’s power grid.
“We continue to work with urgency to build a greener Los Angeles and reach our goal of a 100% renewable grid by 2035,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “Projects like these reduce our carbon footprint and strengthen the local economy in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. We thank the Los Angeles Business Council and our valley regional partners for making this project a reality.”
The solar project was officially unveiled at a ceremony hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council, which has played a pivotal role in bringing solar programs like the FiT program to areas historically impacted by high pollution. Event attendees included community organizations that have designed and implemented other environmental projects in the area, such as planting hundreds of trees, building new pedestrian walkways, and purchasing electric buses.
Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, who represents the San Fernando Valley, commended California for outperforming the rest of the world in renewable energy.
“It’s very exciting to serve a state that’s leading the world in the transition to clean energy, and that these resources are coming to the very communities and people I represent,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “Today’s installation brings us one step closer to meeting California’s push to achieve net-zero carbon pollution by 2025 and create thousands of good green jobs in the process.”
The project is located in a “solar equity hotspot,” an area with abundant flat roofs and a large population of low-income residents in need of jobs and new economic opportunities.
“I congratulate this team on bringing the FiT program to the Northeast Valley to not only reduce air pollution, but also deliver jobs in a community where we have people ready to work,” said L.A. City Councilmember Imelda Padilla. “The transformation to clean energy is a critically important economic development tool, and Los Angeles is wisely capitalizing on the promise that programs like the solar FiT have to offer.”
In 2013, LADWP launched the nation’s largest urban rooftop FiT program, helping business owners turn their rooftops into an asset. Aside from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the FiT program is credited with spurring major private investment in clean solar power in L.A. County and creating thousands of high-quality local jobs.
“LADWP’s FiT program continues to deliver on its promise to put underutilized rooftops in our service area to use generating zero-carbon solar energy while improving quality of life for residents,” said Martin Adams, LADWP general manager and chief engineer. “Projects like this one at Rexford Industrial in Panorama City align with our goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2035 in an equitable way that benefits all Angelenos. We encourage more building owners to see if they, too, can generate income on their rooftops and help accelerate our city’s move toward clean energy.”
The LABC has been a leading voice in promoting policies like the solar FiT program that promote environmental stewardship and economic growth.
“The Los Angeles Business Council has been a champion of the FiT for more than a decade because we believe in the program’s potential to deliver significant economic benefits while also addressing economic and environmental hardships in communities that experience outsized impacts of poor air quality,” said Mary Leslie, LABC president. “The FiT program is helping ensure our city’s green transformation is rooted in equity and bringing economic benefits to communities that need it most.”
The LABC is a member of the Green Together Collaborative, a coalition of non-profit and public partners focused on harnessing initiatives like rooftop solar that stimulate the local workforce and combat air-quality issues in Pacoima and Sun Valley. In 2018, the Wells Fargo Foundation awarded the coalition a $500,000 grant to support the installation of rooftop solar as well as urban greening initiatives in the Northeast Valley.
“Every community deserves clean air, good jobs and the promise of a healthy future for their families,” said Gregg Sherkin, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president, senior manager, philanthropy & community impact. “Our support for this coalition’s work in the Northeast San Fernando Valley reflects Wells Fargo’s commitment to our communities and our support for the transition to a resilient, equitable, and sustainable future.”
The new solar project was developed by Valta Energy, together with building owner Rexford Industrial, which has pledged to invest in solar installations on other properties.
“As we mark this milestone today, we are not just celebrating a project completion but reaffirming our collective commitment to a greener future. We hope this serves as a model for other building owners in our local community,” said Carlos Serra, Rexford Industrial’s executive vice president of development and construction.
About the Los Angeles Business Council
The Los Angeles Business Council is one of the most effective and influential advocacy and educational organizations in California. For over 70 years, the LABC has had a major impact on public policy by harnessing the power of business and government to promote environmental and economic sustainability in the Los Angeles region. To learn more, please visit labusinesscouncil.org.
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