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The city of Los Angeles has more than 12,000 acres of prime space for solar development on the rooftops of local homes, businesses and multifamily buildings, with the potential capacity to create as much as 5 GW of locally generated power, according to a study by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC). This amount of solar-ready rooftop space is equivalent to nearly 20 square miles.

The recent approval by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to move forward with the city's first feed-in-tariff (FIT) program - CLEAN LA Solar - provides the opportunity to create the first 150 MW of rooftop solar in the next three to four years, with a goal of reaching 600 MW by 2020.

An LABC-sponsored study by UCLA found that a 600 MW FIT could result in 18,000 green jobs, spur $2 billion in investment, and produce long-term cost savings for businesses, ratepayers and the LADWP, the LABC adds.

Additionally, the city must meet a state mandate requiring local utilities to generate 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The solar FIT is a proven program to help the utility meet that goal and help the city quickly see the economic and environmental benefits in the limited time frame, according to the LABC.

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