LA Utility Urges Renewables Generation to Address Terrorism

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is encouraging its customers to consider the benefits of generating on-site electricity as a solution to concerns over terrorism.

CARLSBAD, California, US, 2001-10-23 [SolarAccess.com] Since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. last month, the LADWP says that it has received inquiries from customers asking what they can do to prevent power interruptions in the event of an unplanned disruption. “We understand the value that distributed generation can deliver in easing demand on the public energy grid and in ensuring reliability for our customers who want additional peace of mind,” says General Manager David Wiggs. The demand for distributed generation is not currently significant because LADWP has a stable, low-cost supply of power, along with the lowest electric rates in the state of California, he told a conference. Although DG is an environmentally sound solution and embraces technologies that are available, he says the terrorist attacks are concerning customers. LADWP has added DG in the form of solar PV, microturbines and fuel cells to its generating capacity, with small generators located near the customer to provide uninterrupted or back-up power. Combined with renewable resources and energy efficiency, distributed generation will account for 50 percent of LADWP’s load growth over the next decade. This year, solar photovoltaic sources will produce 1 MW and microturbines will generate 2 MW, enough to power 3,000 homes. By 2010, 70 MW of electricity, enough to power 70,000 homes, will come from distributed generation sources. “Distributed generation can provide numerous customer, utility and societal benefits,” says Wiggs. “The customer benefits from high quality and reliable power, as well as lower electric bills because waste heat can be used to drive the generator. The utility benefits because distributed generation will reduce the need to build more costly power plants. Society benefits because solar power produces no emissions and micro-turbines and fuel cells are dramatically cleaner than diesel generators.”
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