Solar in Los Angeles County

“For Los Angeles to be the cleanest, greenest city, we need participation from every Angelino… we know that dirty fossil fuels will only become more scarce and more expensive in the years to come. This helps move us toward renewable energy while at the same time creating new jobs.” — Mayor Villaraigosa

California leads the nation with 438,284 solar projects and 3,460 megawatts installed The City of Los Angeles initiated a program in January of 2013 to pay up to 17 Cents/kwh for electricity by up to 100 MW of solar power.

By the end of 2013, Los Angeles topped the solar capacity rankings list of American cities with 132 megawatts of solar capacity, including rooftop residential and utility-scale projects installed, according to an Environment America Research & Policy Center report. San Diego was No. 2, San Francisco was No. 9th. Los Angeles not only has plentiful sunshine, but also a vast low rising urban development, which allows massive solar energy generation. There is over 19,000 megawatts of rooftop solar PV potential in Los Angeles County, and 5,500 megawatts in the City of Los Angeles alone. The use of solar panels in homes, businesses and schools is widespread in the Los Angeles Basin. The Environment California Research and Policy Center named Los Angeles as the U.S. city with the most solar installations In Los Angeles, Prologis, a global industrial real estate trust, has completed four new solar projects. 1.1 million square feet of Prologis rooftop space will supply 4.2 megawatts of power to the Los Angeles department of Water and power electric grid. The energy produced is expected to power 1100 home in Los Angeles each year. Since 2007, Prologis has developed more than 110 megawatts of renewable energy across 25 million square feet (2.3 million square meters) of logistics real estate.

Installing a solar system is not only good for the environment, but also yields financial rewards. In Los Angeles, for example, solar panels can result in a return on investment of approximately 215% according to some sources. The sun produces enough energy every day to power everything on Earth for a year. Over the last decade, solar energy use has been estimated to grow by about 30% annually. An International Energy Agency report estimates that by 2050, one quarter of all energy will be produced from solar. In California, the state is committed to use renewable energy 50% of its electricity by 2030. California already has some of the world’s and last year 25% of electricity came from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal A tilt of zero degrees would be a panel lying flat on the ground, whereas a tilt of 90 degrees would be a vertical panel. To optimize solar production, a solar array’s tilt should be close to the location’s latitude. For example, a fixed solar array in Los Angeles (with a latitude of 34.05 degrees north) would have its optimal tilt around 34 degrees. An azimuth of 180 degrees indicates an array pointed true south whereas an azimuth of 270 degrees indicates an array pointed to the west, etc. While many factors affect how a project’s tilt and azimuth are selected, theoretically an array with its tilt close to its latitude facing true south would optimize solar production.

Solar energy is a completely renewable resource; the sun is a constant and consistent power source, it does not cost anything to harness the power of the sun. Solar powered panels are typically easy to install. Solar power technology is improving consistently, as people begin to understand all of the benefits. There is approximately 10,000 times the amount of solar energy than is currently required by humans, and it is constantly being replaced. Only 0.02% of incoming sunlight if captured correctly, would be enough to replace all other fuel sources combined. Solar cells make no noise. Solar energy creates no pollution. Very little maintenance is required to keep solar cells running. There are no moving parts in a solar cell. Solar cells tend to last with only an annual cleaning.

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