LADWP to Sign Agreement for Renewable Geothermal Power
Provides Reliable Renewable Energy for 19,000 Homes; Reduces
|LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will enter a power purchase agreement to buy 14 megawatts (MW) of reliable geothermal renewable energy – enough clean energy to serve 19,000 Los Angeles homes and avoid 64,100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is roughly equivalent to removing 12,300 cars off the road each year.
On April 3, the Los Angeles City Council approved LADWP’s 20-year power sales agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for geothermal energy from the Wild Rose Geothermal Power Plant, which is under construction in Mineral County, Nevada.
LADWP will receive 85 percent of the plant’s total 16 MW output, representing 114 gigawatt-hours annually; the City of Burbank Water and Power will receive the remaining output. The Wild Rose project is being developed by an affiliate of Ormat Technologies, Inc., and is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of 2013.
Citing the advantages of geothermal power, LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols said the Wild Rose purchase agreement is an important next step in LADWP’s transition away from coal.
“Unlike wind and solar, which only generate power when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, a geothermal plant produces energy continuously, so we can rely on it for base load renewable power, 24/7,” Nichols said. “This makes it an ideal renewable energy as part of our replacement of coal power.”
The plant is expected to produce power at 95 percent or more of its capacity year-round – a higher capacity than the wind or solar renewable energy resource. Because of its predictability, geothermal also saves on transmission and other integration costs, as compared to variable renewables like wind and solar power.
LADWP recently announced it will stop receiving coal power by 2025, and replace it with a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency measures, and efficient natural gas as a bridge fuel to provide reliability. As part of the major power supply transformation, LADWP will also completely eliminate the use of ocean water cooling at its three coastal power plants while rebuilding them to improve reliability and integration with renewable energy.
LADWP has been steadily building a diverse renewable energy portfolio of wind, solar and now geothermal power. LADWP achieved 20 percent renewables in 2010, ahead of most other utilities in the state. LADWP is on track to supply 25 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2016, and 33 percent by 2020. The geothermal energy from Wild Rose will provide approximately 0.5 percent of LADWP’s renewable energy goals.
The power sales agreement is the result of a competitive process initiated in January 2011 by SCPPA, a non-profit joint powers agency whose members include 11 municipal utilities in Southern California. Conforming to LADWP’s long-term power plan, this project, as similar to the other renewable projects, was selected to meet LADWP’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goals: access to LADWP-owned transmission facilities and land; diversity in terms of the type of resource and location; use of proven technologies; and regionally “clustered” to promote cost efficiency in operation and maintenance.
“This agreement provides a long-term, reliable renewable power supply for Los Angeles,” said Aram Benyamin, Senior Assistant General Manager – Power. “Given the advantages of geothermal energy and the way it will interconnect with LADWP’s transmission system, this is a very good fit for L.A.”