Monday, April 27, 2009

Taking a Solar Step in the Right Direction

Today, I celebrated with Mayor Villaraigosa, Metro CEO Arthur Leahy and others, at a ribbon cutting for the largest solar panel installation in Los Angeles and the largest solar transit facility in the country. Metro’s Support Service Center in downtown is its central maintenance facility for its fleet of buses and the 6,720 individual new solar panels will generate 1.2 megawatt, or 1.200 kilowatts of renewable, emission-free power. The new energy bill for the facility will be roughly half ($550,000 vs. $1.1 million), which should mean the panels will pay for themselves in about 10 years. The most important aspect of this partnership between Metro, Chevron Energy Solutions and other supporters, is the new solar panels are expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 3,700 metric tons. I spoke today about the need to do more of these types of public/private partnerships and that the fight to end global warming will take millions of steps by countless policy makers, municipalities and states in an array of nations, but that every great effort always begins with one step. And today, Los Angeles took a very important step.