The push to make the city of Los Angeles more energy efficient is gaining steam among elected officials. Members of the state legislature are calling for the city to have 20 percent of its power needs met by local solar sources within the next six years. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti adopted a rooftop solar goal last year and many are now joining his fight.
Mayor Garcetti wants 1,200 megawatts of solar capacity constructed on Los Angeles roofs and parking lots across the city. This is less than providing one-fifth of the city's peak consumption, which is anywhere from 6,100 to 6,200 megawatts of power. But now there are those who are hoping to not only meet Garcetti's goals, but to go well beyond them.
Los Angeles' public utility announced at the end of last week that the city will be hiring a new general manager, picked by Mayor Garcetti himself, by the end of January. Now, elected officials – including Congressman Adam Schiff and State Senators Kevin de León and Ted Lieu – are working with solar power advocates to take advantage of this new opportunity to put the L.A. Department of Water and Power solidly behind this new solar power energy plan.
"It's time for Los Angeles to take its place in the sun as a world leader on solar power, and it can only happen with strong leadership from Mayor Garcetti and the next general manager of LADWP," said Emily Kirkland of the group Environment California, which is a strong supporter of this energy initiative. Renewable energy activists and members of the state legislature believe a new general manager will make the 20 percent local solar goal a top priority for the utility.