The Port of Los Angeles has completed its World Cruise Center solar rooftop project, a 71,500 square foot, one megawatt system capable of generating approximately 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) energy grid.

The solar photovoltaic installation, which is expected to result in an annual $200,000 energy cost savings, is the first phase of a multi-location solar power program that will eventually produce 10 megawatts of solar system generation capacity.  The $10.8 million project includes a total of 1.16 million square feet of rooftop solar panels, larger than the size of a football field.  Three additional project phases are slated for completion over the next five years.

“Clean energy is essential if we are to meet the future growth and development needs of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  “This solar project and others being initiated within our city will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also add meaningful new jobs to our green sector workforce.”

“Solar power is one of many technologies being used at the Port of Los Angeles to promote environmentally responsible operations and development,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “We are thrilled to now be harnessing the power of the plentiful Southern California sun to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and increase economic opportunities for Los Angeles businesses and residents.”

POLA_SolarPanels-14 (3)Over the solar system's lifetime, it will reduce roughly 22,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of cutting the annual greenhouse gases of 4,367 cars, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA calculator)

The system is comprised of 5,140, 210-watt solar modules.  It was installed by the Energy Alternatives Division of San Jose-based Cupertino Electric Inc. The roof-mounted system, which collects and converts solar radiation to electrical energy, features high-efficiency crystalline modules and utilizes a self-ballasted racking system that does not penetrate the terminal’s existing roof.  Electricity generated is then routed back to the LADWP through an existing electric meter at the World Cruise Center facility.

Home of the original “Love Boat” in the 1970s, the World Cruise Center is an inner-harbor facility just south of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.  The solar panel project is part of a $42 million upgrade at the World Cruise Center. Earlier this year, state-of-the-art walkways were installed to travel between the terminal building and cruise ships. Painting, lighting and audio-video upgrades have been completed, as well as a new fendering system and cushion-like bumpers on the wharf to protect  the cruise ships and the wharf.

Additionally, Alternative Maritime Power (AMP), currently used at some container ship terminals, will soon be available so that cruise ships can “plug in” to shoreside electrical power instead of running on diesel power while at berth. Depending on the size of the ship, estimates are that AMP will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by one ton (2,000 pounds) and reduce 85 percent of sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions out of the air each day a ship is at berth and plugged in.