L.A. pursues solar-power surge
A plan launched by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa encourages installation of 1,300 mW of solar power in Los Angeles and the surrounding area by 2020.
Christened "Solar LA," the plan addresses solar power systems on residential, commercial, and municipal properties. The plan includes a requirement for the city's municipal utility, the Los Angeles Dept. of Power and Water (LADPW) to install 400 mW of solar power on city-owned property by 2014. By 2020, the utility will be required to procure an additional 500 mW of utility-scale solar power through contracts with third-party developers, with the option to purchase the systems after about eight years of operations.
The plan proposes a number of incentives for solar-minded residential customers; homeowners will be offered expanded rebates, including free systems for some customers in low-income neighborhoods, and the city may offer loans that can be repaid through property taxes. Residential customers that can't afford their own solar power system will be able to buy shares of an LADWP solar power plant through a new program called "SunShares." Combined, these programs could yield another 230 MW of solar power by 2020.
Further, the plan includes the city's intent to institute a feed-in tariff, which would allow solar developers throughout the city to sell power directly to LADWP under a long-term contract. The feed-in tariff is expected to yield another 150 MW of solar power by 2016.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.