Los Angeles dumps coal deal

  • A solar array at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Temple Street Facility Fitness Center

    La Department of Water and Power
  Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn has directed the city’s Department of Water and Power to pull out of a deal to expand a coal-fired power plant in Delta, Utah.

The funds earmarked for the project — which would have provided 2 percent of the city’s power — will instead be used to meet the mayor’s goals of providing more power from the sun, wind and other renewable sources.

A 2002 California law requires investor-owned utilities to purchase 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2017. Though the law doesn’t apply to L.A. or to California’s 35 other public utilities, most are voluntarily working toward increasing the amount of clean, renewable power in their energy mix.

Los Angeles is currently reviewing dozens of renewable proposals and has two in-state projects under development: a 120-megawatt wind energy facility and a 40-megawatt biogas facility that converts local yard clippings into methane.

Some environmentalists and energy experts had questioned a proposal that California municipalities count large hydroelectric power plants as eligible renewable resources to meet their goals.

But the Los Angeles City Council silenced those concerns when in October it voted 12-to-2 to not include Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in its renewable portfolio, even though the dam would have boosted the city’s renewable investments from approximately 3 percent to 8 percent.

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