Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, LADWP

Mayor Garcetti makes his announcement that Los Angeles’ municipal utility will NOT re-purpose dirty, aging natural gas plants, so now what? Photo by jack Eidt.

LA won’t spend $5 billion to re-power three gas plants, called for transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy: but how will we get there?

In his February 12 press conference, the Mayor stepped up and proclaimed that while using equity as a frame, we must rethink how we get our energy, and how we power our economy. “In Los Angeles,” he said, “this is what a Green New Deal looks like.”

The city will phase out by 2029 the ten gas-fired generators at three polluting units at Scattergood, Harbor, and Haynes that together represent 38 percent of the city’s natural gas portfolio. This reversed an earlier decision by the LA Department of Water and Power (DWP) to extend the life of the gas generators by upgrading to meet stringent standards around ocean water cooling, which can harm marine life.

The transition to 100% renewable will require phasing out dirty fossil fuels and nuclear, and replacing them with solar, wind, and geothermal energy. Developing these clean sources must be paired with energy efficiency and demand response — allowing customers to adjust their use during peak periods — or energy-saving programs that would optimize the grid. Energy storage also is crucial for reliability, which can include affordable long-cycle-life lithium batteries or “pumped water” options at the Hoover Dam. These, along with supporting the development of distributed small-scale locally-generated energy resources, such as rooftop solar and electric vehicles, can save money for Los Angeles ratepayers.

READ MORE IN THE ESSAY BY JACK EIDT


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