Start watching
Tending Nature poster 2021

Tending Nature

Start watching

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching

City Rising

Start watching

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

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.

Outgoing LADWP general manager Ron Nichols and Mayor Garcetti announced January 9 that Nichols would be leaving at the end of the month for what Nichols described as "personal reasons." The utility has been embroiled in a number of fiscal scandals over a big-ridden billing system and alleged suspect payments from the utility's treasury to two non-profit trusts.

A new general manager could make the 20 percent local solar goal a priority for the utility. Garcetti will be selecting Nichols' successor.

The push is gaining support from city circles well outside the usual political suspects and mainstream green groups. Aside from unsurprising endorsements by long-term environmental activists like Environment California, Vote Solar, and the Sierra Club, as well as solar leasing companies, the push for 1,200 megawatts of local solar in L.A. has won support from a diverse array of L.A. institutions ranging from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to a Bunker Hill-area pupusa joint.

Aside from reducing the city's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions by more than a million tons a year, building 1,200 megawatts of local solar could employ 32,000 people for a year, according to Environment California.

"Southern California is practically a synonym for sunshine. But here in Los Angeles, we're still getting less than 2 percent of our power from the sun," said Kirkland. "Mayor Garcetti showed tremendous vision in calling for 20 percent local solar power by 2020 last January. Now, it's time for him to make that promise a reality."

Support Provided By
Support Provided By
Read More
un mazo de juez de madera

Justicia retrasada: tribunales abrumados por el atraso de la pandemia

Desde la manutención de los hijos hasta el fraude de seguros, los casos judiciales se retrasan en todo California. Solo la mitad de los casos civiles y penales se resolvieron el verano pasado en comparación con las cifras anteriores a la pandemia. “La justicia no se ha cerrado. La justicia se ha ralentizado”, según un grupo de abogados.
A gavel on a table

Justice Delayed: Courts Overwhelmed by Pandemic Backlog

From child support to insurance fraud, court cases are delayed throughout California. Only half as many civil and criminal cases were resolved last summer compared with pre-pandemic numbers. “Justice has not shut down. Justice has slowed down,” according to an attorneys’ group.
People pull up in their vehicles for Covid-19 vaccines in the parking lot of The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 19, 2021. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

L.A. County Expands COVID Vaccines to Residents 65 And Older

L.A. County began scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for those aged 65 and older today, but limited supplies and uncertainty about future allocations has left the inoculation effort shrouded in doubt.