PermaCity is installing a 2.2-MW solar array atop an ocean research facility on the wharf at the Port of Los Angeles. Once completed, it is likely the project will be the second largest solar installation at a U.S. port. PermaCity, a division of Catalyze, is using its proprietary SolarStrap roof mounting technology on the project for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.
“This is a significant step forward for AltaSea’s environmental commitment, as well as signaling that AltaSea’s renovation is underway,” said AltaSea CEO Tim McOsker. “With this R&D facility running net positive with renewable, green energy generated right on our rooftops, we are living out our mission to create a more sustainable future through the acceleration and growth of the blue economy.”
Among the uses that will be powered by the four-acre AltaSea solar array includes famed oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard’s planned 10,000-sq.-ft interactive research center. Additionally, Ballard, who just released his book Into the Deep: A Memoir From the Man Who Found Titanic, also docks his Exploration Vessel Nautilus at AltaSea. Ballard is best known for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and many other shipwrecks around the world.
Located on 35 acres at the Port of Los Angeles, AltaSea’s campus is primed to be the hub of an emerging blue economy, which is estimated by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation to create well over 126,000 direct jobs in LA County alone. AltaSea’s anchor tenants include: the Southern California Marine Institute (made up of 23 universities and institutes), Braid Theory, Blue Robotics, Holdfast Aquaculture, Montauk Technologies, La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, and Boeing’s Echo Voyager.
The installation will generate approximately $495,000 in energy value per year and will export its energy to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). The FiT is delivering valuable in-basin power needed for Los Angeles’ electrification to mitigate climate change. The solar project has significant funding from True Green Energy LLC, which, together with PermaCity, has funded and built most of the solar projects at the Port. Similar to the other installations, it will be constructed with skilled labor and solar training provided by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 18. As part of the program, PermaCity and IBEW offer Veterans and disadvantaged workers careers in solar and electrical, as well as opportunities for advancement.