When it comes to sustainability, Los Angeles has its work cut out for it.
Sure, they are world leaders in recycling … if you count dialogue. Or plot lines. But it is going to take awhile for the famously car-centric city to develop climate-friendly transit, and the utility is the dirtiest in the state. So it is welcome news to see the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power continue to work on solar initiatives.
You may remember last spring, when Measure B failed at the polls. This was widely seen as a referendum on the process, not on solar per se, as many constituents felt they had no say in developing the Measure B program, and did not know what the initiative would cost.
To rectify those issues, LADWP is doing a couple of things. First, instead of hiring consultants to guestimate the price of solar, LADWP is demonstrating low costs by signing low cost contracts. Take a look at this one, 55 MW with First Solar [pdf]. It comes in at 12 cents/kWh, with an escalator. Why, it seems like only yesterday that consultants would reliably cite solar’s costs as 40 cents/kWh. In any event, 12 cents is in the wheelhouse of palatability. You can do a lot with 12 cents.
Secondly, to combat the appearance of not taking public input, LADWP is conducting a series of public workshops to solicit public input. Check them out here. If you do go, here’s a list of our recommendations.
It’s not every day that your utility asks you how much solar you want.