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March 14, 2011

Luskin Center report: Los Angeles is a Rooftop Solar Hotspot

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UCLA’s Luskin Center has released a report on the potential for rooftop solar in Los Angeles. Short version: LA could generate more than 5500 megawatts of solar electric power on rooftops. That’s more than five times the output of the desert-destroying 9500-acre Blythe Solar Millennium project.

From the Luskin Center’s website:

This Atlas is organized to help cities and electricity utilities understand their own solar rooftop potential so that they may be better stewards of these resources. Each map presents the geographical distribution of solar potential across neighborhoods and parcels. The maps are accompanied by a description of how the solar potential varies across single- and multi-family residences, commercial and industrial parcels, and non-profit and government parcels since the economic benefits and policy incentives may vary accordingly. Because cost-effectiveness increases with the size of a solar installation, the atlas also presents, for each jurisdiction, the number of potential solar projects by size as well as the total rooftop potential.

The atlas contains solar density maps for each of LA’s City Council districts, as well as for other municipalities within Los Angeles County and the county as a whole. Each district or municipality’s section also includes tables of overall rooftop solar potential and the addresses of the largest potential generating locations. In the words of the atlas’ introductory text:

Los Angeles County has over 19,000 megawatts of rooftop solar PV potential, while the City of Los Angeles has over 5,500 megawatts. These maps, which are based on aerial photography of the solar-usable rooftop space,** should be viewed as providing long-run estimates of rooftop potential. This atlas is organized to help cities and electricity utilities understand their own solar rooftop potential so that they may be better stewards of these resources. Each map presents the geographical distribution of solar potential across neighborhoods and parcels. In addition, each map is accompanied by a description of how the solar potential varies across single- and multifamily residences, commercial and industrial parcels, and nonprofit and government parcels, since the economic benefits and policy incentives may vary accordingly. Because cost-effectiveness increases with the size of a solar installation, the atlas also presents for each jurisdiction the number of potential solar projects by size as well as the total rooftop potential.     


You can download the 14.6 megabyte PDF of the report here.

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