Los Angeles is famous for its movie stars, its container traffic, and its sunshine, and the city recently announced plans to combine two of those features to reduce pollution at its bustling port.
No, the Port of Los Angeles will not be putting matinee idols and ingénues to work as longshoremen. Rather, it will mount photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems at 12 locations on port property, such as rooftops, parking lots, and underutilized ground sites.
Together, the solar panels will generate an estimated 10 megawatts, representing about one-sixth of the port's current power demand for running ship-to-shore cranes, ships at berth, and terminal equipment.
Operated by Hecate Energy Harborside under a 20-year deal, the PV panels could start pumping power to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's utility grid as soon as mid-2016.
The arrangement will help the port continue to improve air quality throughout Southern California and supports its goals under the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Port leaders first launched clean air initiatives 10 years ago when they switched many systems from diesel engines to electric power, which helped cut emissions of diesel particulate matter by 85 percent, sulfur oxides by 97 percent, and nitrogen oxides by 52 percent between 2005 and 2014.