Using California’s warehouse rooftops for solar power

AltaSea’s new solar rooftop at the Port of Los Angeles provides a blueprint for solar on warehouses in California

AltaSea | Used by permission
New rooftop solar installation at AltaSea’s warehouse.

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The clean energy transition is well under way in California, with renewable technologies like solar panels becoming an increasingly common fixture across the state. A clean energy future will bring enormous air quality, health, and environmental benefits while ensuring Californians have access to affordable, reliable energy. California leads the nation in installed solar capacity, but we still have a long way to go to reach our 100% clean energy vision by 2045 or sooner.

Some of the best places to keep solar growing in California are on top of the flat, open, sunny roofs of warehouses and distribution centers throughout the state. According to Solar on Warehouses, a new report by Environment California Research & Policy Center, California has over 66,000 warehouses and distribution centers, totalling more than 1.5 billion square feet of suitable rooftop space for solar panels. Putting solar panels on all these rooftops could power nearly 5 million homes in California and propel the state’s progress towards 100% clean energy.

On Friday, April 21, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles hosted an event celebrating the completion of a new solar installation upon its warehouse rooftop, which will generate enough clean electricity to sustain its own campus plus 700 nearby homes with 4,753 solar panels. The event featured former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and AltaSea CEO Terry Tamminen, who both highlighted the importance of using warehouse rooftops to generate solar power throughout California. Watch Gov. Schwarzenegger and Terry Tamminen’s remarks at the event here.

This is exactly what we need to do all over the State of California. Imagine if we put solar on all those roofs. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Former California Governor
"Putting solar on warehouse roofs is not just a great environmental decision, it’s also a smart business decision. More warehouse owners should use these ideal spots to produce clean energy, avert harmful pollution, increase the value of their property, and save on their electricity bills." Terry Tamminen
CEO, AltaSea
AltaSea | Used by permission
Terry Tamminen and Arnold Schwarzenegger complete AltaSea’s warehouse solar installation.

Terry thanked Environment California for its role in passing the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, which spurred the widespread adoption of rooftop solar in California with more than 1.6 million solar rooftops and counting: “I want to especially thank Dan Jacobson and Bernadette Del Chiaro, who were at the time with Environment California. Without them, we never would have got the Million Solar Roofs Initiative passed.”

Due to their large size and abundance in California, warehouse rooftops are among the most promising sites for rooftop solar development. AltaSea’s new solar panels showcase how retrofitting existing infrastructure with renewable energy technology can be an important clean energy solution. California has more warehouse rooftop square footage than any other state, and this space can contribute substantially to our clean energy future as sites for solar panels.

Environment California’s Steven King and Dan Jacobson celebrate solar on warehouses at the AltaSea campusPhoto by Steven King | TPIN


Steven King

Clean Energy Advocate, Environment California

Steven leads Environment California’s campaigns to increase clean, renewable energy throughout the Golden State, spearheading efforts to transition away from dangerous fossil fuels and address climate change. Steven lives in Los Angeles where he enjoys spending time outdoors, watching his favorite L.A. sports teams, and playing the trombone.

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