Officials Push for L.A. to Get 20 Percent of Power from Rooftop Solar

Generating rooftop power under the June gloom atop the Metro Support Services Center | Photo: Metro Library and Archive/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The push to make Los Angeles more energy independent is gaining steam, as a group of local, state, and federal elected officials called Friday for California's largest city to meet a fifth of its peak power needs with local solar within six years.

Congressman Adam Schiff, State Senators Kevin de León and Ted Lieu, Assemblymembers Bonnie Lowenthal, Jimmy Gomez and Mike Gatto, and L.A. City Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin have signed on to support a rooftop solar goal L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti adopted last year, when he said he'd push for building 1,200 megawatts of solar capacity on Los Angels' roofs and parking lots. That's a bit less than a fifth of the city's usual summer peak consumption, about 6,100-6,200 megawatts.

Now, with last week's announcement that the city's public utility will be hiring a new general manager at the end of the month, those officials and a broad spectrum of other solar advocates are pushing to take advantage of the opportunity to put the L.A. Department of Water and Power solidly behind Garcetti's goal.

"It's time for Los Angeles to take its place in the sun as a world leader on solar power, and it can only happen with strong leadership from Mayor Garcetti and the next general manager of LADWP," said Emily Kirkland of Environment California, a backer of Garcetti's initiative.

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