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DWP Plan Passes Council Committee

August 02, 2000|ANNETTE KONDO

A City Council committee Tuesday approved a sweeping plan to sell L.A.'s stake in a Nevada facility and rebuild three local Department of Water and Power plants.

Approved last week by the city's water and power commission, the plan, which requires the full council's blessing, calls for selling the DWP's share of the Mohave Generating Station in southern Nevada and investing $1.7 billion in the rebuilding of three plants in the Los Angeles area.

The strategic blueprint--formally known as the Year 2000 Integrated Resource Plan--also calls for a six-year project to modernize and upgrade the Castaic power plant to increase output.

The Castaic upgrade is estimated at $65 million but "will depend on contracts for the retrofit," said Meryt McGindley, a spokeswoman for Councilwoman Ruth Galanter.

The coal-burning Mohave plant--of which the DWP has a 20% share--has long been controversial because of the pollution it caused. By selling its stake, the DWP estimates it would make a $190-million profit and avoid millions of dollars in costs to upgrade the plant to environmental standards by 2001.

The sale would assist the DWP in paying off some of its debt and help fund the rebuilding of the local power plants.

Those three plants include one in Sun Valley on Sheldon Street, the Scattergood facility in Playa del Rey and the Haynes plant in Long Beach.

"We are recommending we go ahead with the Valley plant immediately," said David Freeman, the DWP's general manager. "We will build a new plant at the same site, a 500-megawatt new plant. It needs to be on line by spring 2004."

The DWP plan, which was approved by the Commerce, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is expected to come before the City Council in the next two weeks.

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