USC-LADWP deal harnesses solar power for university and neighbors

USC will offset 25% of its electricity consumption with solar energy and contribute to new solar programs that will expand opportunities for disadvantaged communities to access affordable clean energy – all under a new agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The 20-year agreement approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday will help USC meet its carbon-based energy consumption reduction goals. In addition, the university will become the first institution in Los Angeles to contribute to the Los Angeles DWP’s Clean Energy Adder program, which will make renewable energy more accessible and affordable for residents of multi-family housing, including those surrounding Los Angeles campuses. ‘USC.

The contract allows USC to offset up to 25 megawatts of electricity on any given day — the equivalent of taking 5,413 gas-powered cars off the road — from LADWP Springbok 3 solar farm in Mojave, about 95 miles north of Los Angeles. The solar farm will apply nearly 30 percent of its power generation to USC, which will offset a quarter of the university’s annual electricity needs.

“USC has set an ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2025, and this agreement between USC and LADWP is an exciting and significant step towards achieving that through increased access to solar power,” USC President Carol L. Folt said.

“This is a meaningful example of how, by working together, USC and the city can lead the way and do our part to fight climate change.”

Switch to renewable energy, including solar power

All USC-operated buildings and facilities on the University Park campus in downtown Los Angeles and most on the Health Sciences campus in Boyle Heights will be part of this effort. USC will immediately begin offsetting energy consumption on campuses.

We hope to set an example for other Los Angeles institutions to pursue aggressive solutions to the climate crisis.

Mick DalrympleUSC sustainability director

“This new agreement marks an important step toward reducing our environmental impact and achieving our goal of achieving climate neutrality,” said Mick Dalrymple, USC’s chief sustainability officer.

“By taking this step, we hope to set an example for other institutions in Los Angeles to pursue aggressive solutions to the climate crisis.”

LADWP Clean Energy Adder Program

In addition to reducing its carbon footprint, USC will contribute approximately $180,000 annually to LADWP programs that support multi-family residents on and around USC campuses. These funds will also support disadvantaged communities that have historically struggled with socio-economic conditions and pollution. This one-of-a-kind arrangement is a bold step to support underprivileged communities’ access to clean energy.

Under the new Clean Energy Adder program, large institutions like USC can subscribe to two LADWP solar programs. USC is the first organization to financially support Shared solar program, which allows tenants of multi-family dwellings to offset part of their electricity with solar energy. Additionally, USC funding will be set aside for the Virtual Net Energy Metering pilot program that encourages solar development in multi-family buildings.

More stories on: Civic Engagement, Community, Energy, Sustainability

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