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LA City Council approves program allowing city to buy solar power from property owners

Solar panels in the Mojave Desert
Solar panels in the Mojave Desert

Los Angeles is taking what could be a major step into the solar future: the City Council has approved a pilot plan to start buying solar power from property owners.

For years, advocates of solar power have been urging the city to make better use of our abundant sunshine and wide, empty rooftops. Now the City Council has taken a step in that direction, approving the Clean L.A. program.

The city will sign contracts with up to 60 property owners who join the pilot project so that they can buy the solar power the properties generate.

The project hopes to provide up to 10-megawatt hours of non-polluting power and could create thousands of jobs as owners of apartment buildings and factories scramble to install solar panels.

But some council members are less than enthusiastic. They say the cost of this power is too high compared to other sources. They also wondered why the city didn’t begin with public buildings it already owns.