Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boyle Heights is generating energy and cash as a “solar equity hotspot”

The 300-kilowatt solar array in Boyle Heights | Clean LA Solar

The 300-kilowatt solar array in Boyle Heights | Clean LA Solar

BOYLE HEIGHTS — The top of a Boyle Heights shopping complex is now home to a large collection of solar panels that are generating green power for the LADWP as well as income for the property owner.

The new solar array at the Angelus Grand center in the 3600 block of Olympic Boulevard will provide 300 kilowatts of renewable energy that will be purchased by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power under its Feed-in Tariff program.  Officials, including Councilman Jose Huizar, gathered on the Angelus Grand rooftop on Wednesday to turn on a ceremonial switch.

Property owner Levy Affiliated Holdings  leased the rooftops above a CVS, Food 4 Less and other stores to a solar developer, which built the $750,000 solar array and contracted to provide power to the LADWP for 20 years, according to a spokeswoman for the project.  It’s one of 14 similar projects that have been built under the program, including a giant solar array on top of the Forever21 warehouse in Lincoln Heights.

With abundant flat roofs and a large population of low-income residents, communities like Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights have been described by researchers as “solar equity hotspots” that could benefit from the construction of large, commercial solar arrays, according to officials. In one case, a solar array developer teamed up with Homeboy Industries to create a solar panel training and installation program at the East Los Angeles Skills Center in Lincoln Heights.

Earlier this year, a preliminary report issued by UCLA and USC blamed staffing shortages at the LADWP for the slow roll out of the solar program, according to KPCC.  Another 28 solar arrays are currently under construction as part of the program, according to CLEAN LA Solar.

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One comment

  1. Better on rooftops than on our quickly disappearing open space on hillsides! How about using solar panels as covered parking in parking lots?

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