L.A. meets renewable energy goal
Pine Tree Wind Power Plant
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—By turning away from coal and harnessing the wind, Los Angeles met its goal of drawing 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2010, it was announced.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had set that goal six years ago, and the Department of Water and Power accomplished it largely thanks to the Pine Tree Wind Power Plant in the Tehachapi Mountains.
The DWP began fully operating the nation’s largest municipally owned wind farm in June 2009. By the end of 2010, it accounted for half of the utility’s renewable energy.
Hydro-electric power accounted for another 30 percent of the renewable energy; geothermal/biofuels, 22 percent; and solar, one percent.
The DWP quadrupled the percentage of renewable energy in its portfolio in six years—from five percent in 2004 to 20 percent in 2010—and now supplies customers with 4,500 gigawatt hours of cleaner power.
The increase in cleaner power is the equivalent of annually removing 490,000 cars from the road; preventing 2.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions; or removing 750,000 homes from the grid.
Last year marked a record low in the DWP’s use of coal power, which accounts for 39 percent of its portfolio. The utility intends to do away with using coal altogether.
The DWP’s carbon emissions are 22 percent below 1990 levels, but that number is expected to drop even further when the city divests itself of the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona in 2014.
New wind and solar projects are in the works, including a “feed-in tariff” program which allow private homes and businesses to generate solar power that can be sold to the DWP for distribution on the grid.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and two council members named their appointments today to a five-member residents committee that will help create a Department of Water and Power watchdog office.
The committee is charged with appointing the first executive director of the Office of Public Accountability, which will analyze DWP programs and rates and advocate on behalf of customers.
Prior to Laura Chick taking office as Los Angeles city controller in 2001, few in the public really paid close attention to the audits that were the exclusive domain of that department.
The charter establishes the controller as an elected official and gives that individual responsibility for serving as the auditor and chief accounting officer of the city.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is a step closer to launching a pilot program that will allow customers to sell their excess solar energy to the utility for delivery to the rest of the city, a spokesman said today.
The LADWP announced that after receiving 26 submissions, the application period to be a part of the feed-in tariff, or FiT, program was closed.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Chinese automaker BYD opened its North American headquarters downtown today, marking a victory for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s full-court press to get new businesses to locate in the city.
BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, makes electric and hybrid cars.
It also manufactures solar power systems, rechargeable batteries and LED lights.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The City Council took the rare action today of voting to take control of a popular Solar Incentive Program run by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, based on concerns it will benefit businesses more than homeowners.
The council voted 11-1 to assert its authority to overrule the department, which recently made changes to the incentive levels.