The LABC Institute’s efforts are focused on economic and environmental sustainability, which are critical to advancing L.A.’s economy.
Together with our research partners, the LABC Institute has produced two groundbreaking reports on a local rooftop solar energy program that harnesses the power of L.A.’s considerable sunshine while generating significant local investment and jobs. The reports are titled Making a Market: Multifamily Rooftop Solar and Social Equity in Los Angeles and Empowering LA's Solar Workforce: New Policies that Deliver Investments and Jobs.
This research — which followed the Los Angeles Business Council’s three initial solar studies with UCLA examining a solar Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) program — helped lead to the implementation of the CLEAN LA Solar program. CLEAN LA is a bold initiative that served as the model for the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s mandated solar FiT, which will now allow businesses and other property owners to install solar panels on roofs and parking lots, and sell the power generated back to the LADWP for 20 years.
In May 2012, the LADWP initiated a 10-megawatt demonstration FiT program, with plans to ramp up to a 150-megawatt program by 2016. The LABC Institute provided vital research and made key policy proposals that helped shape the design and guidelines for the program.
Building on previous studies published by the Los Angeles Business Council, the LABC Institute’s report, “Empowering LA’s Solar Workforce: New Policies that Deliver Investments and Jobs,” shows that the CLEAN LA program will spur considerable economic activity in part by providing employment to a trained “workforce in waiting” already prepared for solar jobs. Many of these training programs are located near “hotspots” in Los Angeles with great solar potential – which are also areas of acute economic need.
Establishing New Markets
The LABC Institute also published a report, “Making a Market,” revealing that L.A.’s large multifamily residential buildings – particularly large apartment complexes – have great potential for solar-power generation. Researchers estimate that multifamily rooftops could generate up to 300 megawatts of clean power over the next 5-10 years – enough to power 30,000 homes.
Largely as a result of this research, a broad citywide coalition of government officials, business leaders, the environmental community, labor groups, and neighborhood activists united to form the CLEAN LA Coalition to support the program. This powerful coalition continues to be instrumental in advancing the CLEAN LA initiative.