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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Port adds 5,000 Solar Panels to Cruise Terminal Rooftop

Energy generated from the sun's rays will help power facilities at the Port of Los Angeles, with help from 5,000 solar panels that were recently installed, officials announced Thursday.

The solar panels, spanning 71,500 square feet on the port's cruise terminal rooftop, are capable of generating one megawatt that will be routed to the city's power grid, leading to about $200,000 in annual savings.

The project is expected to reduce about 22,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the system's 25-year lifespan, the equivalent of taking 4,367 cars off the street, port officials said.

"We are thrilled to now be harnessing the power of the plentiful Southern California sun to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and increase economic opportunities for Los Angeles businesses and residents," said Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

The project marks the first phase of a $10.8 million solar program that will eventually produce 10 megawatts, set for completion over the next five years.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners agreed last March to install a total of 1.16 million square feet of solar panels covering the rooftops of port businesses and structures.

The solar panel plan was unveiled in December 2007 by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Attorney General Jerry Brown. The project falls in line with Villaraigosa's "Green LA" plan to reduce global warming by boosting the use of renewable energy.

"Clean energy is essential if we are to meet the future growth and development needs of Los Angeles," Villaraigosa said. "This solar project and others being initiated within our city will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also add meaningful new jobs to our green sector work force."
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