MoLAA gets a green make-over with solar panels and water-wise landscaping

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molaaSolar panels will offset nearly 13 percent of the Museum of Latin American Art’s energy usage, delivering $6,000 in annual savings.

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) has taken a proactive stance to help the environment while it helps its own “bottom line” through the use of solar power, water-wise landscaping and printing its publications on FSC certified paper. “Now more than ever it is critical for all of us, including the museum community, to do our part to save the planet”, said Richard P. Townsend, MOLAA’s President and CEO.

MOLAA held a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this month to celebrate the completion of a 60-kilowatt solar power array positioned atop the Museum in the East Village Arts District.

This is the first step in the museum’s overall goal of energy efficiency and conservation, and was made possible by the unique combination of a California Solar Initiative state rebate, a clean air grant* from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PermaCity Solar, Inc.

“The Museum of Latin American Art is a non-profit entity that has been tirelessly working to provide education and enjoyment for Los Angeles residents and visitors. We are pleased to see that they have taken it a step further, with the help of Permacity, by incorporating clean, renewable solar power to contribute to their overall sustainability,” said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group.

Comprised of 336 Sharp NT-175U solar modules, the installation sits atop the 55,000 square-foot building, and will produce enough electricity to meet nearly 13 percent of the museum’s electricity needs for a yearly savings of more than $6,000. The solar installation was designed and installed by PermaCity Solar of Long Beach, California, which will manage, operate and maintain the solar electricity system.

“We have deep expertise in the economical purchase and installation of PV systems and were excited to be able to use that to give back to the Museum of Latin American Arts, a non-profit organization that has been very influential in the Los Angeles community,” said Herb Mendelsohn, vice president of sales and marketing at PermaCity.

“We initially began thinking about solar energy a couple of years ago and were approached by PermaCity during this time, and they were able to devise a solar solution despite the challenge that the varying structural shapes and materials of our facility presented. We are extremely pleased with the results and look forward to lower energy costs and reducing our carbon dioxide footprint on the environment,” said Chris Gordon, vice president of projects and finance, MOLAA. “This is only the beginning of ways that we are looking to reduce our impact on the environment, as we already have eco-friendly irrigation systems and recycling initiatives in place.”

The Long Beach Water Department’s Landscape Grant Program provided support for the Museum’s exterior landscaping as well as for the landscaping of MOLAA’s 15,000 square foot sculpture garden. The desert-like natural landscape design utilized at MOLAA provides beauty, low water requirements, low/no chemicals, low/no runoff and low maintenance. The Museum has been commended for its unique design that helps inspire people to use water efficiently, protect our environment and improve quality of life.

Founded in 1996, MOLAA is more than a museum; it is a renowned cultural center that presents a diverse array of special events and educational programs. The museum is located in the heart of the East Village Arts District at 628 Alamitos Avenue in Long Beach. For more information, visit .

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