This week, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined LADWP Chief Operating Officer Marty Adams, LADWP Chief Sustainability Officer Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles County Business Coalition President Mary Leslie, Actor/Environmental Activists Ed Begley Jr. and Matt Walsh, and students from Porter Ranch Community School to introduce legislation calling for LADWP to explore options to install “floating solar” panels on Los Angeles reservoirs.
Floating solar is an emerging and extremely efficient form of renewable clean energy. By covering the surface of reservoirs, floating solar conserves water by reducing evaporation and prevents harmful algae growth by blocking sunlight. Additionally, there is no land costs associated with the installation and there is greater efficiency of output due to the cooling effect of water.
Los Angeles reservoirs provide hundreds of acres of local surface area that can be used as a platform for capturing solar energy. The initial pilot calls for approximately 11.6 MegaWatts of solar installation on DWP reservoirs. That is enough energy to power approximately 3,190 homes per year and the offset 15.9 million lbs. of CO2 emissions per year or the equivalent of removing 1,567, cars from the road. LADWP estimates that Los Angeles Reservoirs have an achievable potential of 53 MW which translates to the electrical use of 21,000 homes annually or the equivalent of taking 10,320 cars off the road.
According to the State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), retail sellers and publicly owned utilities are required to procure 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.
Los Angeles is in a unique position to lead the country in the adoption of clean, renewable energy. With our geography, our climate, and our city-owned and operated utility, we have all the ingredients necessary to push for the wide-use and adoption of solar energy. By co-locating these panels on city-owned reservoirs, we eliminate the land-use cost and impacts of traditional solar panels.
Read the motion, here and watch news coverage below.