Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that due to a 44 percent increase last year, Los Angeles has the most installed solar power of any city in America.
Garcetti cited the city's No. 1 ranking in a new Environment California Research & Policy Center report, "Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America," which says Los Angeles now has 349.3 total megawatts of installed local power. That level of energy is enough to power 82,500 homes in Los Angeles, and eliminates 187,304 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions -- the equivalent of taking 40,108 cars off the road, according to the report.
Garcetti announced the ranking while helping to unveil a 2.21 megawatt solar installation on the roof of the South Hall roof of the Los Angeles Convention Center, which he touted a the largest solar system on any publicly-owned convention center on the West Coast.
"We're proud to lead American cities in the movement to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement," Garcetti said. "Every investment we make in solar is an investment in the health and well-being of Angelenos today and for years to come."
Garcetti's office said the solar improvements bring Los Angeles closer to meeting several goals outlined in the mayor's "Sustainable City pLAn," including an expansion of local solar resources.
"The Shining Cities No. 1 ranking is a testament to the mayor's leadership and to the strong interest among the city's residents and businesses to do their part to achieve a clean power future for Los Angeles," said David H. Wright, general manager of the Department of Water and Power. "The impressive growth of local solar is also a reflection of the improvements we've made to streamline all aspects of the solar programs, making it much easier for customers to go solar and generally improving our responsiveness to customers overall."
Garcetti's office said two incentive programs and a streamlined permitting process aided in the growth of solar installations last year, and the programs have already helped more than 32,000 residential and commercial customers with $314 million in incentives.
"Congratulations, Los Angeles. In a city full of stars, it's the biggest of them all -- the sun -- that is powering our homes, schools, stores and studios with clean, renewable energy," said Michelle Kinman, a clean energy advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. "By continuing to embrace forward-thinking solar policies, L.A. can lead the way to a 100 percent renewable energy future, creating cleaner air and a healthier climate for all."