AltaSea: Beacon Special Edition – June 29, 2021

The Blue Economy Meets

Green Energy @ AltaSea

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles has announced final plans for the installation of a solar energy array atop its 180,000 square foot ocean research and development facility located on the wharf at the Port of Los Angeles, which will make it the nation’s largest solar powered research and development facility focused on ocean conservation and the 2nd largest solar installation at a US Port. The 2.2-megawatt (MW) solar array – covering over 4 acres of rooftop – will be enough to power over 700 homes annually for 40 years, and will be installed by PermaCity, a Division of Catalyze, using its proprietary SolarStrap™ roof mounting technology. Completion is anticipated by late fall of this year.

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“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, which is anticipated to pay wages upwards of $37.7 billion by 2023 in LA County alone.”

McOsker added praise to the AltaSea Board of Directors, especially Eric Johnson, for their bold leadership in making this sustainable energy commitment a reality.

Among the uses that will be powered by the 4-acre AltaSea solar array includes famed oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard’s planned 10,000 square foot 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.

“I’m very proud that my district continues to be a leader on solar power. This AltaSea project follows in the footsteps of the 2017 Westmont project at the Port of Los Angeles, which was the largest solar rooftop array in the world when it was completed,” said U.S. Congressmember Nanette Barragán, who represents California’s 44th District. “I am especially pleased that AltaSea is going to merge the benefits of solar power with deep sea exploration, innovation, and conservation. The Blue Economy is a vital part of our state’s future.”

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: Ocean Exploration Trust, 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.

“I have been a booster of AltaSea from day one,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles. “AltaSea is the front door to the Pacific and their 180,000 square foot solar array sends a strong message about our commitment as a City to innovation and fighting the impacts of climate change.”

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, who 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.


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