During future energy shortages, the triad's members could rely on each
other for power and sell any excess power to the state, officials said.
"This might be an opportunity for the three cities -- though all the
three cities have the resources to meet the needs of their cities -- to
really firm up their resources for an indefinite period of time and at
the same time produce some revenue for the cities and help the state,"
said Dan Waters, executive director of the Tri-City Power Authority.
California has been hit with a wave of rolling blackouts since noon
Monday, when demand for power rose to 30,000 megawatts, which is only 50%
of the demand expected for the state this summer. Monday's blackout
temporarily cut off power to about 1.3 million customers in California
between Sacramento and San Diego.
The cities' proposed power plants could collectively generate up to
1,500 megawatts of power, enough to serve 1.5 million homes, Waters said.
Glendale City Councilman Gus Gomez questioned the idea of providing
power to the state without assurance the cities would be compensated.
"What guarantee do we have of payment?" he said.
Waters said receiving the guarantee from the state's Department of
Energy Resources is a significant hurdle for the project to clear.
Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom agreed: "When we have surplus energy in
the winter, we want to make sure there's someone to buy it so we're not
left holding the bag."
Jack Gualco, a lobbyist for the cities who specializes in energy
issues, emphasized at the meeting that forming an alliance gives the
member cities a stronger position with the state.
Burbank's plans for building a new power plant are already in the
works, and the plant could be up and running by 2004. The new utility
will replace Burbank's three shuttered power plants, Magnolia Nos. 1, 2
The new plant will produce 250 megawatts of power that can be shared
with the other cities or sold to the state.
"We're willing to help the state to the extent of our resources,"
Ovrom said. "But the No. 1 call is always to [our own cities] and,
frankly, we'll take care of each other before we take care of the state."
Glendale's piece of the joint-power pie will involve modernizing its
Grayson Power Plant on San Fernando Road, according to Glendale Water and
Power Director Ignacio Troncoso.
Existing equipment will be replaced with more efficient equipment, and
additional equipment will be added to the facility. The new equipment
will bring the capacity of the existing 250-megawatt power plant up to a
level of 500 megawatts, Troncoso said.
No final plans for the site have been made, and the GWP will await the
direction of the Tri-City Power Authority before moving forward in the
An impact report on the project will be available next week. A
proposal to finalize the tri-city agreement will come before the three
councils in early April, Waters said.