The City of Angels Launches Largest Solar Energy Rooftop Program (And it Pays)

solar energy

As if Los Angeles needed another reason for bragging. It’s now home to the nation’s largest urban rooftop solar energy program, and it could make you money while helping to support clean energy initiatives in the state.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the program, called Clean L.A. Solar, makes it possible for Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power to now pay its customers if they generate solar energy via rooftop solar panels.

The Los Angeles Business Council is the driving force behind the program, and hopes that it will generate 150 megawatts of solar energy, “enough to power about 30,000 homes,” reports the Times. “The council hopes to attract investments totaling $500 million from a growing list of companies that want to invest in L.A.’s push to go green by setting up large clusters of rooftop solar panels.” And the solar energy program hopes to expand, rapidly. “Clean L.A. Solar proponents have their sights set high, aiming to expand the initial 150-megawatt goal over the next several years to 600 megawatts.”

The move comes as a result of the state’s mandate to generate 33 percent of its electricity through renewable resources by 2020. If everything goes smoothly, the Clean L.A. Solar program should help the city reach 25 percent of that goal by 2016. As well, the program will create more than 4,000 jobs for Angelinos.

Another benefit of the program is that it could also be extremely helpful to the city’s lower income neighborhoods. Some of the city’s poorest areas also have the highest amount of light available, making homes in those neighborhoods prime candidates for solar rooftops.

The program will pay 17 cents per kilowatt-hour initially, decreasing to 14 cents, according to the Times.

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.