Within a one year period, the Bureau of Street Lighting commits to installing 3,000 solar panels on the City of Los Angeles' streetlights. The solar panels will generate electricity and deliver it back to the electric grid over the existing street lighting underground system. The panels include a remote system that will report the energy produced and the status of each panel. This proposal to attach 3000 panels in one year will cost approximately million. The panels will generate 1.45 million kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity each year from a 900KW system. This will result in an offset of 883 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, electricity use for 95 homes and elimination of 150 cars. The City has a successful pilot program of 52 units that have successfully been generating electricity for approximately 3 years. Additionally, through the Bureau's Power Purchase Agreement, the City will receive revenues through the transmission of energy into the electric grid; these revenues will contribute to financing repayment and ultimately bolster the Street Lighting Maintenance and Assessment Fund.
The City of Los Angeles is committed to provide the labor and engineering services in support of the attachment of 3,000 solar panels to streetlights. The Bureau has in-house staff that has been trained to install these panels during the pilot program, as well as the capacity to quickly mobilize personnel that will provide the labor, expertise and appropriate skills. By committing to providing for these labor and engineering costs, the City halves the financing needs associated with the Commitment to Action. The City of Los Angeles and Department of Water and Power are committed to enacting the Memorandum of Understanding and Power Purchase Agreement with the utility needed to continue the program's expansion. The City will also facilitate all appropriate documentation to obtain the Renewable Energy Certificates from the State.
As the Bureau prepares to deploy its solution, it seeks financial backing to support the installation of 3,000 additional solar panels. Ideally, the solar-to-grid opportunity will ultimately expand within the City's street lighting system. As noted above, the Power Purchase Agreement facilitated through the program, and initiated by the City of Los Angeles, will allow for the repayment of financing, and ultimately, the strengthening of the Street Lighting Maintenance and Assessment Fund.
By implementing its solar-to-grid solution, the City of Los Angeles and Bureau of Street Lighting hope to serve as an example for cities and states seeking similarly cost effective and energy efficient objectives. As the City has led the deployment of LED lighting on streetlights, and jumpstarted the local LED industry, it hopes that this program will offer a similar model for solar panel deployment and financing that can be replicated in other cities nationwide.
The program will involve the attachment of 3000 solar panels to street lighting poles throughout the City of Los Angeles. This will include engineering, planning, and installation. The milestones of deliverables will include the following:
The Bureau will meet with potential funding and finance partners to identify sources of funds. Any necessary agreements and contracts will be implemented in order to finalize funding for the Commitment.
1. Engineering - Identification of viable locations for attachment of solar panels in the City of LA, in coordination with solar companies to ensure the maximum efficiency for solar production.
2. Specifications - Specifications will be completed using the testing results of the City's successful pilot program. These specifications will be used to obtain bids through the City's competitive bidding process.
3. Planning/Implementation - The implementation process of the program will be finalized. This will include identifying personnel, equipment and logistics of deployment.
Attachment of 1000 panels. Each panel will be mounted attached and tested for energy production. The panels will also have a remote monitoring system to wirelessly report energy production and panel status.
Attachment of 1000 panels.
Attachment of 1000 panels.
The City of LA/Bureau will report on the progress of these milestones throughout the program. Every panel will also be equipped with a remote monitoring unit that will report the panel's status and energy generated. The City/ Bureau will monitor the system and provide the various reports to the Utility. Monitoring will also serve to verify revenues received by the City through its Power Purchase Agreement.
Historically, the City of Los Angeles has been a leader with respect to advancing innovation in municipal streetlighting. Most notably, it proved itself as one of the country's first municipal systems to convert all streetlights from traditional lighting to LEDs. As the nation's solar industry grows, the Bureau of Street Lighting seeks to further innovation by integrating the use of solar power within its municipal lighting system.
The City's street lighting system is funded from the Street Lighting Maintenance Assessment Fund (SLMAF) which collects assessments from benefiting property owners. This funding has been in place since the early 1900s and historically has increased annually to meet the City's operational and maintenance costs. Since the passage of Proposition 218, this revenue source has been frozen since 1996. Lack of funding has challenged the City, and in response the City and Bureau have been systematically searching for ways to decrease expenditures and increase efficiencies.
One of the City's largest expenditures is the cost of electricity: to support the system of 210,000 streetlights, costs are high and continue to increase annually. In response to rising energy costs, the Bureau has implemented a variety of cost-saving measures, including the conversion of all City streetlights to LEDs (light emitting diodes), completed in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative. In addition, the City has evaluated the utility of attaching solar panels to streetlights in order to generate electricity. Initially, the pilot program sought to store energy in batteries; however, this solution proved unreliable and environmentally impactful. To address stability and environmental concerns, the Bureau began testing solar-to-grid panels, which will allow energy generated to be fed back into the electrical grid, and revenue to be recouped by the Bureau. Since 2011, the City has tested various solar-to-grid systems, including the attachment, troubleshooting, and design of the panels. Attaching solar panels, and feeding the captured energy back to the electrical grid, has proved both reliable and cost-effective; over the lifespan of the panels, the Power Purchase Agreement facilitated through the program will provide additional revenue to the Street Lighting Maintenance Assessment Fund.
Due to the success of the City's testing and pilot program, a proposal has been formulated to establish a renewable energy portfolio through the installation of solar panels on streetlight poles in the City. The Bureau's program will install 3,000 solar panels on streetlights; the energy from which can then be transmitted to the electrical grid. The program will offset a portion of the annual energy costs through electricity sales to the utility and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 883 metric tons.
The City of Los Angeles/Bureau of Street Lighting is seeking a financial partner to provide upfront costs in support of the material installation of the program that will be paid back through the payment for the energy produced. The City of Los Angeles will provide all labor required. To cover the cost of materials, it is expected that $2,250,000 will be required. Depending on the structure of the financing and year of implementation, there may be opportunity to access federal grants/credits for solar energy production. The energy generation will result in Renewable Energy Credits (RECS) received from the State that will be submitted to the Department of Water and Power (DWP) for payment per the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the City of Los Angeles and the DWP. Depending on the implementation date of the program the PPA will be finalized to reflect the implementation year's purchase of power cost.
The City of Los Angeles/Bureau of Street Lighting is offering engineering and labor to support the design and attachment of 3000 solar panels over a 1-year period. The City/Bureau has secured in-house expertise in the design, installation and monitoring of these solar panels and has conducted thorough testing and evaluation of the systems. The City's personnel are aware of the various criteria and specification required for any panels utilized for this program. This expertise has provided valuable insight into product selection, panel location and what is required for energy production.