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Kristin Eberhard’s Blog

Los Angeles City Council unanimously approves getting out of coal

Kristin Eberhard

Posted April 24, 2013 in Living Sustainably

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Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an amendment to LADWP’s contract with the Intermountain Power Project (a large coal plant in Utah from which we in LA get much of our electricity) allowing for the coal plant to be shut down before the end of the existing contract (2027). The coal power will be replaced with energy efficiency, renewables, and two smaller natural gas plants to be in operation no later than 2025.

GetOffCoal.jpg

     Mary Leslie (Los Angeles Business Council), Manuel Hernandez (SCOPE), Kokayi          Kwa Jitahidi (LAANE), Kristin Eberhard (NRDC), Councilmember Richard Alarcon,            Councilmember Paul Koretz, celebrate getting off coal.

LA’s Ratepayer Advocate pointed out that this transition must be done in the most cost-effective manner possible, and suggests that we could cut costs by using the IPP site to integrate more wind and solar.

You read that sentence correctly: renewables are not just the greener option, they are quickly becoming the cheaper option. 

A recent report from CitGroup shows that wind is already cheaper than gas, and that solar will be cheaper by next year for sunny areas, and by 2020 for less sunny areas. (The cost for a new natural gas plant like the one to be built on the IPP site is around 9 cents per kWh in 2012, and that will change by the time the plant is actually getting built in 2020.)Wind.jpg

Solar.jpgLA has taken a big step in getting out of last century’s power. We now have several years before we sign another 50 year contract to make sure we are investing in our cheapest, cleanest resources for the coming century. 

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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