PermaCity Planning Major Solar Rooftop Project


Los Angeles solar rooftop developer PermaCity announced Friday it would build the region’s largest project that will sell power to the city’s grid.

The PermaCity project will place two million square feet of rooftop solar panels on four privately owned warehouse buildings on Westmont Drive in San Pedro, not far from the Port of Los Angeles. The installation project is expected to generate 500 jobs.

When fully operational, the panels are expected to generate up to 16.4 megawatts of solar power, enough to power 5,000 single-family homes. Much of that power will be sold to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, which can then send that power to grid customers. Over the life of the 20-year lease, total revenue from the power sales is estimated at $76 million, with up to 90 percent of that going directly to the buildings’ owner.

The buildings’ owner refused to be identified, but is represented by CBRE. Senior Vice President Tres Reid, who was the broker on the deal, said that while the buildings’ owner had reviewed several solar rooftop proposals, this was the best one because of the DWP program to buy excess power for the grid.

“It provides a great incentive for building owners while creating jobs and pumping clean energy into the grid,” Reid said.

PermaCity Chief Executive Jonathan Port also praised the DWP program, saying it compensates business owners while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combatting the “heat island” effect found in urban areas.

PermaCity specializes in solar rooftop installations for major commercial buildings, including jeans-maker Forever 21’s headquarters and warehouse in Lincoln Heights, American Apparel’s headquarters, and Cathay Bank.

Read more of the Business Journal’s coverage of PermaCity here.

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Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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