The projects will begin producing power in 2010, but the utility doesn’t expect to use power from the agreements until 2013, said Glendale Water & Power General Manager Glenn Steiger. An option to use the energy before 2013 is available if necessary under future state mandates.
“These give us insurance,” he said.
Pending state legislation would require that 33% of power provided by utilities be from renewable sources — such as power generated by solar, wind or landfill gas — by 2020, said Steve Lins, assistant general manager for supply. The legislation includes benchmarks to get there; the first would require 20% to be from renewable sources by 2010.
“I think a lot of people in the industry are gearing toward that goal,” Glendale Water & Power Commissioner Hugh Yao said at a meeting last month.
In 2003, the City Council set its own standards for renewable energy use in the city, calling for the addition of cost-effective renewable resources to reach as high as 23% by 2017.
“Our potential is higher. Our mandate is higher, and it makes sense,” Steiger said.
The two proposed wind power purchase agreements, which require council approval, would bring the utility’s renewable energy portfolio from 17.4% to almost 23.4%, Lins said. Those figures do not include power generated by the Hoover Dam project since that source will likely not be counted under the new state mandate.
One of the city’s main renewable energy sources is power generated by gas from the Scholl Canyon Landfill, Lins said.
“We are definitely ahead of the game,” he said.
The two wind projects were chosen out of 63 proposals to the Southern California Public Power Authority for renewable energy projects based on cost competitiveness and how they would work into the city’s other energy sources.
“Some are more difficult to work into your system,” Lins said.
Since wind is unpredictable, the energy generated would have to be stored by a third party company so it could be delivered at peak times, Lins said. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power officials will administer both projects on behalf of Glendale and the power authority, according to a city report.