Wind power generated 47% of the renewable power, small hydro-electric 20%,
geothermal 22%, solar 1%
Feb 12, 2011 - energycentral.com
Achieving a major clean-air goal ahead of state targets, the DWP generated
20 percent of its power in 2010 through wind, water, solar and geothermal
systems, city officials announced Thursday.
"This is a big deal," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a City
Hall news conference with environmental leaders. "When we set this goal
in 2005, the DWP was the dirtiest utility in the nation. Today, it's the cleanest
and we have been able to do it at a cost lower than any other utility in California."
In 2005, the Department of Water and Power generated roughly 5 percent of
its energy from renewable sources. Last year, however, that surged to a high
of 28 percent for a short time.
"When I set the goal in 2005, no one thought it could be done," Villaraigosa
said. "The state had a goal of 20 percent by 2015. We were able to achieve
that this year."
The key to achieving the goal, officials said, was the development of the
Pine Tree Wind Farm in Mojave and the purchase of the Milford Wind Farm in
Wind power accounted for 47 percent of the renewable power, small hydro-electric
was 20 percent, geothermal was 22 percent and solar was 1 percent. The mayor
said the city hopes solar will provide more of the renewable energy in future
years. The amount of renewable power generated by the DWP is 4,500 gigawatt
hours, the level needed to power 750,000 homes. That reduces carbon dioxide
by 2.5 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking
490,000 cars off the road.
By comparison, Southern California Edison began at 17 percent in 2005 and
remained in the same area. Pacific Gas and Electric was at 12.4 percent and
is now at 14 percent and San Diego Gas and Electric went from 4 percent to
Villaraigosa said the DWP was able to achieve this goal at a lower price than
the other agencies
The DWP's cost per kilowatt hour is 12.5 cents. Edison's cost is 15.3 cents,
Pacific Gas and Electric is 14.9 cents and San Diego Gas and Electric is 16.4
Maintaining that amount of renewable energy and adding to it, to reach the
state goal of 33 percent renewable by 2020, will be an expensive undertaking.
An Integrated Resource Plan now in the draft stage estimates it would require
annual rate increases of 5 percent to 8 percent for each of the next several
"That plan is still undergoing review," Villaraigosa said. "I
don't believe those figures will be in the final document."
Jack Humphreville, who serves on the neighborhood council panel working with
the DWP, said he is concerned with future costs and whether the city has locked
in long-term power contracts.
"I think the future costs are closer to 8 percent a year than 5 percent," Humphreville
said. "Quite frankly, I think we will have a rate shock once customers
realize the cost of this program."
But Villaraigosa had strong support for the city's efforts from environmental
"This is a mayor who does not accept no for an answer," said Rhonda
Mills, Southern California director of the Center of Energy Efficiency and
"The mayor got in front of this and told us what we needed to do. And
we did it. This has never been done in any city."
With Ron Nichols coming in as the new general manager of the DWP, Villaraigosa
said he was confident the city would continue developing energy alternatives