Could Los Angeles be Solar-Powered?

los angeles solar power

On the same day that the catastrophic 9.0 earthquake hit Japan, March 11, UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation announced the publication of its “Los Angeles Solar Atlas.” Needless to say, it didn’t get much attention at that time. But it is a very useful and interesting publication, so I thought I’d share some of its key aspects and findings with you today.

Some of the key findings from this project were as follows:

  • Nearly 1.5 million rooftops throughout Los Angeles County could be used as solar power generators.
  • On the whole, there’s currently enough potential roof space to create 19,000 MW from rooftop solar.
  • The total rooftop solar potential for the city of Los Angeles is over 5,500 MW, which could power the city on most days. (The highest-ever peak in Los Angeles was 6,177.) Of course, the city must have more power capacity than is needed at peak times.

A CleanTechnica reader, Bob Wallace, added a very useful point or two to these findings over on the comments to the original post:

“Add parking lot acreage to available rooftop space and LA has way more available PV space than it needs. It can sell some of that extra solar north via the Pacific Intertie and get hydro-produced energy back at night from the Pacific Northwest.”

More: Los Angeles Could be Solar Powered (Sort of), UCLA Study Finds

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