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Turkmenistan to export electricity to Pakistan

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 Utah.

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 10 percent.

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 cents.

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 years.

"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 organizations.

"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 Renewable Technologies.

"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 to coal.



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Updated: 2016/06/30

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