Friday, November 6, 2015

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Port of L.A. embarks on solar energy project

The Port of Los Angeles announced it has entered a long-term deal with Hecate Energy Harborside, a subsidiary of Hecate Energy, to build, operate, and maintain photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems (PV systems) that will generate electricity at multiple site locations within the port. The PV Systems will feed clean energy to the utility grid operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The agreement supports the port’s goals under the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan to expand the use of clean energy and related infrastructure while continuing to improve air quality throughout Southern California.

"To truly eliminate air pollution, the process for generating energy must be as clean as the energy itself," said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. "These new solar projects represent the kind of innovation we embrace as part of our ongoing commitment to operate a commercially vibrant and sustainable seaport."

Hecate was selected as the operator following a competitive bidding process, the statement said. Specializing in developing and operating alternative energy generation plants, Hecate will build and operate PV Systems at up to 12 different site locations on port property with a total capacity of approximately 10 MW. The locations are a mix of rooftop, parking lot, and underutilized ground mount

site locations.

The 10 MW of solar energy represents approximately one-sixth of the port’s current power demand.

Under the agreement, Hecate will operate its PV Systems for 20 years, starting when each site becomes operational. Subject to final approval by the Los Angeles City Council, the PV Systems are expected to begin generating electricity in mid-2016.

Overall, the increased use of electricity to run ship-to-shore cranes, ships at berth, and terminal equipment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in harmful pollution from port-related operations. Newly release data from the port’s 2014 Inventory of Air Emissions show emissions of diesel particulate matter down 85 percent, sulfur oxides down 97 percent, and nitrogen oxides down 52 percent since 2005.

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