By the end of 2009, the Port of Los Angeles will be generating a megawatt of clean electricity electricity via 6,600 square meters of solar panels on its World Cruise Center rooftop.
An AUD $13.5 million construction contract was recently approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners for this first phase of the solar power generation initiative and three additional phases are expected to occur in within five years. By the end of the project, 10 megawatts capacity will be attained through solar panel arrays covering over 100,000 square meters.
When at full capacity the Port’s solar farm will produce power equivalent to the electricity consumption of roughly 2,500 homes.
The Port’s electricity needs are continuing to grow as it receives increasing numbers of vessels and as authorities test electric drayage trucks, hostlers and other cargo-handling equipment. The solar installation will not only help the Port of Los Angeles reduce its reliance on oil and cut electricity related greenhouse gas emissions, but City officials estimate that the solar industry creates 200 to 400 jobs in research, development, manufacturing and installation for every 10 megawatts of solar power generated annually.
The project is part of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Solar LA Program, the largest solar power project undertaken by any city in the world. The Solar LA Project will ultimately create a 1.3 gigawatt grid connect solar power network of residential, commercial and local government owned solar energy systems; with a goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2010 and 35 percent by 2020.