MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA, DWP BREAK GROUND ON LARGEST CITY-OWNED WIND FARM IN AMERICA
Pine Tree wind farm will reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 35,000 cars off the road, bringing LA’s renewable power to 13% of total energy portfolio
Mayor also announces DWP plan to build adjacent Pine Canyon project,
which will bring clean power to 70,000 homes in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES – Marching towards his goal to bring Los Angeles’ renewable energy portfolio to 20 percent by 2010, Mayor Villaraigosa today joined City leaders in breaking ground on Pine Tree Wind Project, the largest City-owned wind farm in America.
“Today Los Angeles not only turns a new page in its energy history, we write an entirely new book for a livable, breathable LA,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.
When completed in 2009, the 8,000-acre wind farm will deliver 120 megawatts of wind power to Los Angeles, enough energy to power 56,000 homes.
The clean energy produced by Pine Tree will also displace at least 200,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of taking 35,000 cars off the road. It will also cut 8 tons of nitrous oxide and 11 tons of carbon monoxide.
“Pine Tree is the start of a new model of clean energy, in which the City of Los Angeles is no longer satisfied with only buying clean power, but is taking the lead nationally in producing its own,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Today we upgrade to Green Energy version 2.0.”
The Mayor also announced plans to develop the Pine Canyon Wind Project on 12,000 acres of adjacent property recently purchased by the LA Department of Water and Power. The 150-megawatt wind farm will surpass Pine Tree as the largest wind farm in America by an output of 25 percent.
Located in the rugged Tehachapi Mountains within sight of the first aqueduct to feed water to the City of Los Angeles, Pine Tree is unique in that it will be the largest municipally owned as well as the largest municipally operated wind farm in the nation. By comparison, the second largest City-owned farm – Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Solano County project – outsources its operations to a third party.
Pine Tree’s energy will come from 80 1.5-megawatt wind turbine generators, a new high-voltage transmission line and the new Barren Ridge electrical substation – with a total estimated cost of $425 million.
The project’s construction will generate hundreds of green contract jobs, in addition to the dozen full-time jobs for the farm’s long-term maintenance, according to the DWP.
“Today, Los Angeles is taking a giant step toward greening our power,” said City Council President Eric Garcetti. “Owning and operating the Pine Tree Wind Farm puts our City on the front line in the battle to stop global warming while also helping to ensure that DWP can continue to provide clean, reliable power to its customers.”
“The Pine Tree Wind project speaks volumes about our commitment to renewable, clean energy. Through innovative and creative programs like this, I am confident that we will be able to reduce our carbon emissions and reach our goal of 20% renewable energy by 2010,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, Chair of the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee. “I am proud that the City of Los Angeles will be responsible for the largest municipally owned wind plant in the U.S.”
“This groundbreaking is a significant step towards one day replacing dirtier burning power plants with clean, renewable energy sources. In doing so, we are helping to preserve air quality and enhance climate control,” said Nick Patsaouras, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “We look forward to following the mayor’s lead and commitment to green power by pursuing additional renewable resources in this area, and constructing infrastructure to carry this power to Los Angeles.”
“We are very proud to commemorate the start of construction of what will be the largest wind-generating power plant owned by a single municipal utility, and to announce a new wind power project, Pine Canyon, which will generate 150 megawatts of clean power,” said LADWP Chief Executive Officer and General Manager H. David Nahai. “Together, these wind projects will generate enough electricity to power nearly 130,000 homes in Los Angeles.”
Representing 1.4 percent of the DWP’s energy portfolio, the completed Pine Tree project will bring the City closer to the Mayor’s ambitious goal of 20 percent renewables by 2010 – and 35 percent by 2020 – while dramatically cutting the City’s carbon footprint.
Since the Mayor set the renewables target in 2005, the City has nearly tripled its current renewables portfolio (from 3 percent), while approving numerous projects now in the pipeline that will come online by 2010.
On May 15, 2007, Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled GREEN LA – An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming. GREEN LA sets Los Angeles on a course to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, going beyond the targets of the Kyoto Protocol and representing the most ambitious goal of any large US city. The cornerstone of GREEN LA is increasing the City’s use of renewable energy to 35 percent by 2020.
GREEN LA has over 50 initiatives that will reduce the City’s carbon footprint.
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Contact: Parita Shah
L.A. Mayor’s Office
LADWP Public Affairs
(213) 367-3227-after hours