12 April 2012, 09:59 BST
I included this in a "Clean Links" roundup the other day, but it's really such a momentous thing that I've decided to come back to it.
Los Angeles City Council has granted the city's utility, the biggest municipal utility in the US, the right and impetus to sign solar power contracts of up to 150 megwatts with small-scale producers of solar power for above retail rates.
These feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts would be for both residential and commercial power producers.
"A demonstration FIT plan previously approved by the City Council and already budgeted by DWP allots $58 million over twenty-two years to support ten megawatts of rooftop solar contracts. It is expected to cost $0.9 million in its first year, increase slowly to $2.9 million in 2016 and, finally, to expend $46 million from 2017 to 2033," Herman Trabish of Greentech Media writes. "Its 22-year term is likely indicative of what DWP is considering for larger volume programs."
Now, if you're not familiar with solar power policies, it's important to note that most of the solar power in the world is in place through solar feed-in tariffs. World-leading Germany (which refined what was initially a US-based policy) has put tons more solar on its residents roofs than anyone else through such a policy, and many countries and municipalities have followed suit since then.
Los Angeles is mandated to have 33% percent of its energy coming from renewables by 2020. It also must have 75 megawatts of FIT-supported renewables in place by that time.
Palo Alto also recently put into place a feed-in tariff program for solar power, and Gainesville, FL and Sacramento have had feed-in tariffs in place for awhile, but Los Angeles is now the largest city in the US to have such a policy. I'm sure many eyes will be on the city and the city's roofs to see how the program goes.
Image: Hollywood sign via shutterstock
Source: Clean Technica