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Live in the City of Angels and want to make some extra bucks? If your roof is large enough you may be able to do just that. A new program called Clean L.A. Solar, allows the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to pay customers to generate solar power across the city's vast expanse of flat roof space.
The goal of the effort, the brainchild of the Los Angeles Business Council, is to generate 150 megawatts of solar electricity, or enough to power about 30,000 homes. The council hopes to attract investments totaling $500 million from a growing list of companies that want to invest in L.A.'s push to go green by setting up large clusters of rooftop solar panels.
Four years in the making, Clean L.A. Solar serves as part of the city's answer to the state mandate to generate 33% of electricity using renewable sources by 2020. DWP officials project the solar purchasing program will help L.A. reach 25% of the state mandated by 2016.
Clean L.A. Solar proponents have their sights set high, aiming to expand the initial 150-megawatt goal over the next several years to 600 megawatts. Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti voiced support for the upgrade during his campaign in January. "If we have political commitments to expand, you're going to see a large amount of the industry come in and commit resources. This lowers the cost of solar over the long-term," Wentzel said, "and that can only benefit Angelenos."
Clearly, L.A. is the perfect prototype to launch this project which shows that even the most densely populated areas containing only minimal land mass can be contributors to producing sustainable energy for its residents. Indeed, the World Wildlife Fund recently released a new report which says that land requirements are insignificant and that solar could provide 100 percent of world's energy needs by 2050 using only 1 percent of world's land.