What’s the best way to get solar up and running in this country, fast? The private and academic sector have come together with some strong recommendations, at least for the Los Angeles area, in a comprehensive study examining the potential for a solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program in Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, as part of a working group of local businesses and public-sector institutions, issued the study, which is slated to be presented by UCLA Professor J.R. DeShazo at the LABC’s 4th Annual Sustainability Summit in Los Angeles later this month. The message the study presents? A FiT program–which would allow businesses and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and parking lots and sell the power generated back to the power company–would save money for both utilities and businesses while creating green-collar jobs for L.A..
By getting paid for excessive power generated by the rooftop solar panels, the cost of installations would be mitigated for businesses, which would also be able to leverage federal tax credits for up to 40% of the total system costs–a constellation of factors that would allow them not only to recoup costs over the life of the FiT contract, but earn a return on solar power investments. Likewise, the FiT program would benefit utilities by decreasing the cost of electrical transmission and giving them access to a reliable source of solar power that could become available in a short period of time. “A well-designed FiT would offer real incentives for local businesses to green their operations, achieve significant reductions in operating costs and receive a return on the capital invested in installing solar panels,” said Brad Cox, Senior Managing Director for Trammell Crow Company, in a statement. “This is a clear opportunity for collaboration between business and government to meet our renewable goals by capitalizing on our region’s abundant sunshine and thousands of acres of available rooftop space.”