Venice Green Power Community
100% Renewable Energy Goal:
100% Renewable Power by 2018
In response to Vice President Al Gore's 2008 call for the U.S. to adopt 100% clean power within 10 years, the coastal neighborhood Venice in the city of Los Angeles made a pledge to switch by 2018 to all renewable resources for its electricity. Venice joins the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Silverlake and Mar Vista in making this commitment. Together they have formed a group called Green Power Communities.
Currently, the renewable power options open to Green Power Communities are:
1. To opt for the local utility's - Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's (LADWP)- Green Power program, which allows customers to buy power exclusively produced by wind and small hydro for a premium of an extra $.03/kw.
2. Home and building owners can take advantage of federal, state and local rebates that bring down the cost of installing on-site solar panels. Residents and solar installers report that the red tape can be difficult in Los Angeles, with permits and interconnection often taking several months to complete, but persistence often leads to success.
3. The community participates in an Open Neighborhoods Community Solar Program that allows residents to get discounted pricing on group installations of 1 megawatt solar power installations on residences, commercial buildings, and multi-family units. Open Neighborhoods won this option in a competitive bidding process with the solar installation company PermaCity, and it allows residents to save as much as 35% on solar power. According to the report by Pacific Environment Bay Area Smart Energy 2020, in 2012, Open Neighborhoods enjoyed the lowest published cost in the state for residential solar systems ($4.40 for a 2 kw system using micro-inverters.)
4. Those wanting to install larger solar systems can also consider participating in LADWP's auction/feed-in tariff program, which grants contracts to the lowest bidders for solar projects between 30-999 kilowatts in size. The application fees range from $500-1000, and the interconnection fees range from $750-1500. The pilot program has a 10 megawatt program cap, and the full program has a 75-150 megawatt program cap. Projects requiring grid upgrades are not eligible. This program differs significantly from the well-established feed-in tariffs in countries like Germany, which do not have program caps or extra fees, which are open to all renewable energy technologies, which require utilities to interconnect the projects and to pay for grid upgrades, and which are priced according to a survey of the cost of the technologies.