Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Historic Renewable Energy Achievement

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, joined by environmental leaders and representatives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), announced today the achievement of a major milestone — providing 20% of the City’s power from renewable energy sources in 2010.

“When I became Mayor, I set a goal to generate 20% of the City’s power from renewable energy sources by 2010 and I am proud to say that we have achieved that goal,” said Mayor Villaraigosa.  “We went from worst to first and quadrupled our renewable energy portfolio in a few short years while also keeping our rates lower than other major utilities. Today’s announcement illustrates that the DWP is a national leader in cost-effective, environmentally responsible and reliable energy.”

In 2005, Mayor Villaraigosa and the LADWP made a commitment to increase the utility’s use of clean, green renewable energy from 5% to 20% by the year 2010. This amount of renewable power provided to customers — 4,500 gigawatt-hours (GWh) — is equivalent to annually removing 750,000 homes from the power grid, preventing 2.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, or removing nearly to 490,000 cars from the road.

“This is a historic and substantial accomplishment for the Department of Water and Power and the City of Los Angeles,” said Austin Beutner, LADWP General Manager. “We need to continue to reduce the impact of DWP operations on the environment and do it in an economically sustainable manner.”

The 20% by 2010 goal has been achieved through a combination of major projects and power agreements made during the Mayor’s administration. In June 2009, LADWP began full operation of the Pine Tree Wind Power Plant — the nation’s largest wind farm owned by a municipal utility, in the Tehachapi Mountains. Wind power comprised nearly 50% of all LADWP’s renewable energy in 2010 with small hydro-electric contributing 30%, geothermal/biofuels, 22%, and solar, 1%.

Reaching this milestone is the latest in a series of significant achievements by LADWP to meet the goals of Mayor Villaraigosa’s GREEN LA Action Plan to lead the national fight against global warming. In addition to achieving 20% renewable energy in 2010, LADWP has reduced its carbon emissions to 22% below 1990 levels through a combination of expanding renewable energy; replacing old generators with efficient and ultra-clean power plants; and promoting energy efficiency among its customers.

Since 2006, LADWP customers have saved enough energy to remove 343,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions from our air each year.  This equates to removing 66,000 cars from the road annually. Currently 3% of the City’s total power use is offset by energy efficiency, and LADWP expects to save an additional 7% through energy efficiency by 2020.

In conjunction with increasing renewables and energy efficiency, a key factor in reducing greenhouse gases and promoting a cleaner environment is ending reliance on coal-generated power. LADWP is currently making this transition away from coal and in 2010, only 39% of its power portfolio came from coal. LADWP is in the process of divesting of the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona by 2014, which will reduce carbon emissions by an additional 26%.

Moving forward, LADWP will continue to develop new wind and solar projects close to existing transmission lines and other infrastructure. This includes local in-basin solar and a feed-in tariff program which would allow private parties to sell power to LADWP for distribution on the grid.

The data chronicling this milestone achievement of delivering 19.7% of power from renewable energy sources in 2010 will be submitted to the California Energy Commission (CEC). The CEC’s standard process is to round up to the closest percentage. In their findings, they will therefore report that the City of Los Angeles generated 20% of its power from renewable energy sources in 2010.

Statements of Support: 

“Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles DWP and the City of Los Angeles should be proud of their accomplishment in reaching 20 percent renewable energy in 2010. A key component of California’s energy future is driven by our commitment to renewable energy and this milestone demonstrates that Los Angeles is helping to lead the way.”  — California Secretary of Resources John Laird

“Congratulations to Mayor Villaraigosa and the LA Department of Water and Power for their steadfast commitment to create one of the greenest municipal utilities in California. Los Angeles is a leader in providing renewable energy to its residents and has achieved a significant milestone on the road to a cleaner energy future for California.”   California Energy Commission Chair Karen Douglas

“The achievement of 20% of retail sales from renewable resources is no small feat. It is an important achievement as we work to achieve 33% RPS by 2020. I congratulate the City of Los Angeles on achieving this milestone. I am encouraged by Mayor Villaraigosa’s leadership in this accomplishment. I look forward to seeing more utilities across the state increase the amount of renewable energy used to meet the state’s energy demands. This important achievement by Los Angeles serves to move our state forward to a cleaner energy future.”  — Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg

“This is a major milestone in California’s efforts to build to a cleaner, more secure energy and economic future for the citizens of our state. The City of Los Angeles and the Department of Water and Power are to be commended for this achievement, which demonstrates a strong commitment to California’s renewable energy goals.” — Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols

“We cannot hope to meet California’s ambitious renewable energy goals without success in Los Angeles.  I commend Mayor Villaraigosa for setting an ambitious goal for Los Angeles and successfully achieving that goal.  His leadership in this effort sends a powerful message that even a city as large as Los Angeles can respond to the threat of global warming and integrate renewable energy into our power supply.  He is leading by example.  A greater reliance on renewable energy means reduced CO2 emissions and cleaner, healthier air for the people of Los Angeles and beyond.” — Senate Energy Chair Alex Padilla


“Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city, is today taking a huge step forward to becoming our country’s greenest metropolis.” — Jared Blumenfeld U.S EPA, Regional Administrator, Pacific Southwest

“The City of Los Angeles marks an important milestone today. Mayor Villaraigosa and DWP have proven the naysayers wrong. Renewable energy improves air quality, protects public health, and will result in significant long-term cost savings.  I’m looking forward to being here again in 2020 to celebrate the achievement of the 40% renewable energy goal.” — Joe Lyou, President, Coalition for Clean Air

“It is a remarkable achievement that LADWP achieved this notable goal–accomplished through the leadership and persistence of Mayor Villaraigosa, his appointees and the leaders of City Council.  In a few short years, LA has gone from a meager 3% to 20%, without a significant rate impact, and in the process built the nation’s largest municipally-owned windfarm.  It proves that in this decade LA can reliably and affordably continue its transition away from dirty coal and into renewables.”  — Southern California Director of the Clean Power Campaign Rhonda Mills

“I am inspired by the achievement of the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in hitting the milestone target of 20% renewable energy in 2010. Californians statewide benefit from the increased use of renewable energy and it is a primary tool we have towards reducing the state’s GHG emissions. This is a significant milestone on the path towards a green energy future that we can all be proud of.”  — Assembly Utilities and Commerce Chairman Steven Bradford

“The City of Los Angeles is taking a major step toward eliminating dirty sources of energy and reducing greenhouse gases. We are excited about this development and look forward to helping Mayor Villaraigosa and the City achieve its clean energy goals.” — ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability California Regional Manager Jerilyn López Mendoza.



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