The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to launch a solar power demonstration program for 10 megawatt projects. These projects would pay developers for power.
The program allows third parties to develop solar power from small and medium-scale projects and then sell it to LADWP for distribution on the city’s own grid. This does include the Owens Valley.
DWP says this new program is supposed to complement the existing Solar Incentive Program which allows people to use solar to reduce their power bills. A workshop to explain the new program was scheduled for Bishop tonight at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church on Fowler Street.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that DWP’s new solar program “has skeptics.” The article quotes businessman Jack Engel who said that he invested $300,000 to install his own solar panels but had to wait a year for DWP to allow him to turn on his system. He said DWP’s billings were too complex. Engel described a culture at the DWP that does not want solar to happen.
The LA Times story reports many solar customers and installers who have “similar tales of missteps, delays and poor customer service in connection with the” original solar program. Now, there is a lack of confidence in the newly proposed project.
DWP General Manager Ron Nichols is quoted as saying that the problems are in the past. The Times says in the 15 months Nichols has worked as manager, a backlog of 800 solar projects waiting to go live has “been substantially shortened.”