Sustainability & Energy Efficiency

Constellation Completes Port of LA Rooftop Solar Project

2 min read

One city in the Golden State is using rooftop space to capitalize on one of its most plentiful resources—solar power. 

Constellation completed a 1.2-megawatt (DC) rooftop solar project at the Port of Los Angeles in February as part of the city’s rooftop solar Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) program. The largest of its kind in the nation, the program enables building owners to host solar projects on their rooftops and sell the power generated to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) for distribution on the city’s power grid. 

Why Use Rooftop Solar Projects?

Feed-in Tariff programs maximize the value of existing property by converting unused rooftops into commercial solar projects while creating a financial incentive for developers to pursue sustainable solutions for their construction projects, according to LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards.

Additionally, they create new jobs and tax revenues from clean tech companies. When the Feed-in Tariff program was initially approved in 2013, the Los Angeles Business Council estimated it would create more than 4,500 construction, installation, design engineering, maintenance and administration jobs in L.A. alone, generate more than $500 million in private investments and leverage $300 million in federal tax credits.

Meanwhile, the program was projected to generate approximately 150 megawatts of renewable solar energy, enough to power more than 43,000 typical homes each year. 

Key Statistics

This solar project required no upfront capital from the City of Los Angeles. Constellation will own and operate the solar power system and LADWP will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels through a 20-year power purchase agreement. The system is located within the Port on the roofs of two classically restored 1940s-era warehouses, one of which is home to CRAFTED, a large-scale permanent marketplace that supports more than 100 local artists, crafters and food makers. 

The project is a great example of how public-private collaboration can expand access to renewable energy and advance sustainability goals, said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of distributed energy for Constellation. 

Constellation owns and operates nearly 70 megawatts of solar installations in the state and joined Mayor Eric Garcetti last fall to mark the start of construction of a separate 25-megawatt biogas-fueled cogeneration plant that will supply steam and electricity to power LA Sanitation’s Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant.

The solar power system is composed of approximately 3,780 photovoltaic panels and is expected to generate approximately 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in its first year. 

Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of approximately 1,880 tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 400 passenger vehicles annually, according to LADWP’s estimates. 

Options for Funding Solar Projects

The costs and logistics of an on-site solar project can seem intimidating to organizations without a large capital budget, but there are other options for funding it over time.

By structuring solar projects as power purchase agreements or solar services agreements, Constellation offers solar installations that may require no upfront capital from customers and may provide fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates.

To learn more about our options for on-site solar installations, contact us at

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