San Francisco is planning to build the biggest solar power network in the country. They will cover 140 acres with solar panels which could power 50,000 apartments on 50 huge commercial buildings as big as a Wal Mart store. Los Angeles needs to implement a similar program. If a cloudy, rainy city such as San Francisco can do it, we can certainly do it. Luckily, we have municipally owned power through the Department of Water and Power. We must make sure that private utilities dont wrest our power (pun intended) from us. Renewable energy is where its at. We can no longer be dependent on non-renewable forms of energy.
This can be accomplished, like in San Francisco, through a charter amendment to raise the money for a program and a request for proposal so the city can get bids for the network. The city would contract everything from manufacturing and installation of panels to operation and maintenance. The city would raise money to finance it and make it affordable for those who want to go solar. If any power is left over it will go back to the power grid for future use by the panel owner.
Additionally, the California Energy Commission as of May 16, 2001 is offering increased cash rebates on eligible renewable energy electric generating systems through its Emerging Renewables Buy-Down Program This makes it more affordable to generate your own electricity using renewable energy. Go to www.energy.ca.gov/greengrid/index.html
I also support Joel Wachs motion of January 31, 2001 urging all DWP customers to participate in a voluntary energy reduction program which will create millions of dollars for the City after it sells excess energy to other California cities.
DWP has begun a major effort to meet demand for electricity over the next ten years. DWPs generation facilities must be modernized and powered by natural gas. They must increase the use of wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable power resources. A high priority must be placed on health, environmental and resource conservation. Green buildings last longer, cost less to operate and maintain and provide greater occupant satisfaction than standard development. A tremendous amount of money is spent to produce artificial climates through heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting. Green building techniques can cut heating and cooling energy consumption by 60% and lighting energy requirements by at least 50% Also it will increase worker productivity by 6-16%.
(City of Santa Monica)