Going Solar in Sunny Southern California
The utility's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) calls for creating about 1,280 megawatts of solar power by 2020. Doing so will require significant partnerships between the public power utility and private customers. Already, LADWP has been installing solar panels atop municipal buildings, with a goal of creating 50 megawatts of capacity by 2010 and 400 megawatts by 2014. The utility also is entering into long-term contracts to buy solar power from other generators, such as the Niland Solar Farm in Imperial Valley.
In addition, the SunShares program allows customers to own "virtual" shares of a solar power system. And then there are the traditional solar incentives that offer rebates to customers who install solar photovoltaic systems on their own rooftops. These and other efforts will be great for energy budgets, and will achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gases. State law calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and then 80 percent below those 1990 levels by 2050.
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