Solar City

By Christina Birchfield | 12/19/2013

Many argue that all commercial roofs should be solar; Los Angeles has one of the largest U.S. rooftop solar programs with the potential to power more than 34,000 homes.


CLEAN LA Solar got a warm welcome Friday when L.A. City Councilman Curren Price visited the Southern California Trophy Company.

The 20,000-square-foot building is the latest and the largest CLEAN LA Solar project. The $365,000 rooftop PV will generate 134.4 kW. California Solar Inc., developed the building’s solar for owner Karl Bathke.

Southern California Trophy Company has occupied the building for more than 80 years. It has designed and produced prestigious awards, such as the Gold Globes, the Oscars and Olympic Gold Medals.

Launched in 2013, CLEAN LA Solar will deliver the power produced by feed-in tariff (FiT); commercial property owners generating solar energy can sell it to the L.A Department of Water and Power (DWP) under long-term contracts. CLEAN LA Solar intends to be “the largest rooftop solar program in the United States—and is already being hailed as a model for the nation.” The Clean LA Solar web site makes a point of saying that power generation will be within the city limits and will NOT require new or upgraded transmission lines. They also argue that generating power for the city within the city with clean energy will be more efficient. Most of L.A.’s power comes from far enough away that there are transmission line losses, i.e., power produced that is lost before being used.

The program’s goal is to generate enough rooftop solar to power more than 34,250 typical L.A. homes. Proponents say the program will also add 4,500 jobs. Ultimately, the program hopes to achieve UCLA’s recommendation of 600 MW.

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