RePower LA’s vision is for a Los Angeles that has a strong, sustainable power grid that makes energy accessible to all Angelenos. That’s why we are advocating for a community solar program that serves renters, low-income Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ratepayers.
Though LADWP’s Rooftop Solar program was approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2016, only homeowners with roofs in great condition (or who are able to afford the upfront cost of roof repairs) can qualify. Communities that have been historically underserved, especially low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, are often effectively excluded from the program.
In 2017, our coalition was awarded a Department of Energy “Solar in Your Community” technical assistance grant to develop a community solar pilot program that can reach more ratepayers. . We are working with LADWP to create a plan with a focus on scalability and equity.
Expanding the amount of solar plugged into LADWP’s grid would be a boon for our public utility. LADWP would not only emerge as a clean energy leader; our utility would also become more financially sustainable over time and strengthening the resiliency of the power grid for the whole city.
A strong community solar program would also help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels that increase pollution and hasten global warming. Community solar would produce 40 megawatts of power, making it one of the largest community solar initiatives in the nation. It would generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes and reduce the city’s carbon emissions and pollution by 45,000 metric tons — the equivalent of taking 8,743 cars off the road annually.
In 2018, we won Shared Solar! The largest public solar energy pilot program in the country, 13,000 Angelenos will be able to access solar energy in their public utility. The program includes electric vehicle chargers in neighborhoods of all economic backgrounds, and the solar panels will be installed by UPCT apprentices. The program’s budget was tripled before it was passed, with RePower succeeding to convince LADWP’s oversight board to downsize their plans for the natural gas plant in Utah, the Intermountain Power Project (IPP).