The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, has unveiled a solar power plan for the city that the LA Times calls ‘ambitious’. The plan calls for the city to get 1,280 MW of power from solar panels by 2020. Personally, I don’t feel this is nearly ambitious enough, especially considering the solar radiation resource that lies only a few miles away in the Mojave Desert that could be utilised for Solar Thermal power production.
The plan breaks down into 500 MW from the Mojave Desert in as yet unamed commercial solar power facilities and 380 MW would come through smaller programs, including ones that would help low-income people purchase solar panels. The remaining 400 MW would come from a ballot measure to be voted upon next March, which would allow the city’s Department of Water & Power to install rooftop solar panels on LA resident’s homes.
The LA Times reports that some questions remain about the plan. Financing the project could depend in large part on federal tax credits and the city getting volume discounts for purchasing panels; and there is some contention over the ballot measure. Some claim that it is written in such a way that DWP employee unions would be able to lock out competing solar installation companies from doing the work.
Despite 1,280 megawatts of solar power being a step in the right direction, it is worth pointing out that it would still only be 10% of the cities power requirements.
via LA Times