San Pedro Boasts World’s Most Powerful Rooftop Solar Generating Project

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Where is the world’s most powerful rooftop solar-generating project?

That would be in San Pedro.

The Westmont Solar Energy Project at the Westmont Distribution Center, 300-400 Westmont Drive, was completed recently and toured by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Situated near the end of the 110 Freeway, the project includes more than 50,000 solar panels covering 50 acres of roof space, generating up to 16.4 megawatts. It’s enough electricity to power 5,000 single-family homes and ranks second in size only to the solar project at Apple Inc.’s headquarters in Cupertino. Westmont’s electricity output, however, makes it the world’s most powerful.

The project was completed by PermaCity Solar.

“This really boosts our qualifications to perform the very largest jobs,” PermaCity Chief Executive Jonathan Port said in a news release. “It’s good that a company our size can compete in solar rooftop projects with the likes of Apple’s headquarters.”

PermaCity employs about a dozen full-time workers and has done some other large-scale solar rooftop projects, including one two years ago for clothing manufacturer Forever 21’s headquarters in Lincoln Heights.

The Westmont project is part of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s “feed-in tariff” program in which warehouse and other large-footprint building owners can install solar panels on rooftops and sell the electricity generated onto the agency’s power grid.

The Westmont project will produce an estimated 565 million kilowatt hours of electricity during its 20-year agreement with DWP.

“The landowner rents out the roof and the city buys the renewable power,” Port said. “It’s a win for everybody.”

Garcetti has set a citywide goal of generating 400 megawatts of solar power by the end of this year.

“We are putting sustainability at the center of everything we do in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said in a written statement. “And that means investing boldly to expand the use of local solar and renewable energy.”

Source: Daily Breeze

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