The City of Los Angeles announced on Sept. 27 that it will invest $30 million to help achieve its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2035. The funds will go toward a program that will create solar energy and storage options in city-owned buildings across Los Angeles.
This year’s city budget allotted the $30 million for the program, called LA100, and is currently pending in the council’s Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River Committee; Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who chairs the committee, also co-authored the motion. O’Farrell, along with Councilmember Paul Krekorian and Mayor Eric Garcetti, hosted a press conference about the initiative on Sept. 27.
“We recently adopted the ‘LA100’ goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035, and I noted that this was not simply aspirational, but a work plan for a world in trouble,” O’Farrell said in an email statement to The Epoch Times.
“Today, we took a huge step forward. This unprecedented, coordinated investment between the Department of Water and Power and so many city agencies will transform Los Angeles. It takes leadership to steer the second-largest U.S. city and economy, and this initiative sets the standard for how municipal governments must address the climate crisis.”
The program is based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s LA100 study, which found that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could reach full renewable energy by the year 2045 if it shifts to wind and solar power and develops electrical energy storage in the coming years; the same study projected that the city could almost completely reduce greenhouse gas levels by 2030 if the city begins transitioning now. The program’s deadline was moved from 2045 to 2035 after the study was released.
Based on the study’s projections, the motion would create more wind and solar energy resources and city-owned electricity storage, as well as assess up to 25 facilities for solar resources, with priority given to disadvantaged areas. The program is expected to create 9,500 jobs.
The program would be a cross-department project that would include the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Department of General Services, the Bureau of Engineering, the Bureau of Street Services, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Department of Transportation, the Public Library Department, the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Emergency Management Department and the Los Angeles Zoo.
“Each department mentioned … will pay a critical role in that coordinated, focused deployment,” O’Farrell said during the press conference.
“We are leading the nation, and yes, this is hard stuff. Transforming the second largest city in the country will take resolve, coordination, prioritization, and monetization of our zero-carbon 2035 or sooner commitment. It means intelligently planning and paying for improvements year after year with a relentless commitment in coordination with the Department of Water and Power.”
The General Services Department currently maintains over 600 buildings that store energy.
Tony Royster, general manager of the department, said they saved 76 million kWh from various energy conservation projects over the past 5 years.
“With this funding, Los Angeles can continue to lead by example and implement the next phase of clean energy projects to make our buildings more resilient,” Royster said in a statement.
Krekorian and Garcetti did not respond to a request for comment by press time.