The first businesses in Pacific Palisades are officially having its energy consumption offset by solar power and are participating in the incentive program available again through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
At a ribbon cutting Monday morning at Palisades Pit Stop Detail & Car Wash, dozens of residents, business owners, as well as city and state officials, gathered to showcase the 64 panels sitting atop the car wash's overhang and present a $19,037 rebate check from LADWP. The solar array was installed by Suntricity, based in the Palisades, at the decision by brothers Alex and Seth Zorensky, owners of the car wash. The two approached Suntricity with the idea after meeting at a Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce business expo.
"We're very proud to be a partner here," said Alex, citing the use of vacuums, steamers, buffers, compressors and more to run the business as a huge energy waste. "We thought it would break away from the traditional car wash."
Joyce Brunelle, president of Suntricity, said the 15-kilowatt solar array will convert 100 percent of the energy for the car wash and 34 percent for nearby Sunset LaCruz Investors.
"We're the largest company to install [solar] on rooftops in the Palisades," she said, noting they have big projects coming up in San Diego and the Mohave Desert.
"They are very green and forward-thinking," she said about the Zorensky's.
LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols said we he started the utility was issuing $30 million in rebates for the program annually, and he suggested doubling and capitalizing on the program.
"We want to have solar on L.A. roofs by 2016," he said, noting the car wash's 64-panel array generates 23,000 kilowatt hours a year, of the equivalent of four homes.
"We're very proud to be a partner," Nichols added.
District 11 City Councilman Bill Rosendahl was on hand Monday to credit the work being done in his district. He initiated the final "ribbon-cutting" portion of the event by having all those involved flip the switch on a mounted compact flourescent light sitting on a table for the press conference.
"We can create commerce, happiness and joy just from the sunshine," he said. "Solar energy can give you energy to your house and it can be returned to the grid for others to use."
Representatives from the offices of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, State Sen. Ted Lieu and Congressman Henry Waxman were also on hand.
LADWP's incentive payments are calculated using an "estimated performance-based buydown," which bases each system's expected performance and many variables, such as location, orientation, mounting method and shading. The amount is found by multiplying the design factor by the incentive and system ratings, and the incentive rating is found by the dollars per kilowatt payrate. For more information on calculating the incentive payment from LADWP, click here.