The Los Angeles City Council signed off on a 20-year agreement between USC and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Wednesday that would allow the university to offset a quarter of its electricity usage with solar-generated power.
USC will be able to use electricity from an LADWP solar farm in Mojave, which will supply nearly 30% of its energy production to USC. The contract allows the university of offset up to 25 megawatts of electricity per day, which is the equivalent of taking more than 5,400 gasoline-fueled cars off the road, officials said.
USC has set a goal of reaching carbon-neutral status by 2025.
“This agreement between USC and LADWP is an exciting and significant step toward achieving that through increased access to solar energy,” USC President Carol Folt said. “This is a meaningful example of how, working together, USC and the city can set the pace and do our part to fight climate change.”
The university will begin offsetting electricity immediately, with all USC-operated buildings on the main downtown campus and most buildings on the Health Sciences Campus in Boyle Heights participating.
USC will also contribute $180,000 per year to the LADWP’s Clean Energy Adder program, which supports renewable energy for residents in multifamily units.
“This new agreement marks a major milestone toward reducing our environmental impact and realizing our goal of achieving climate neutrality,” said Mick Dalrymple, USC’s chief sustainability officer. “By taking this step, we hope to set an example for other L.A. institutions to seek out aggressive solutions to the climate crisis.”