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Hydroelectric Vote Aims to Save Money

August 23, 2004

Re: "Wasting Energy on Words," editorial, Aug. 16: There are several good reasons the Commerce, Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 2 to 1 in favor of including all hydroelectric facilities as part of the city's Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Counting Hoover Dam and the 15 hydroelectric facilities located along the aqueduct will save Department of Water and Power ratepayers $157 million through 2017. RPS legislation permits utilities to count hydroelectric facilities as part of their eligible renewables provided they are less than 30 megawatts in size.

As such, the question is not whether hydro is renewable, but rather if a 75-year-old facility, which by any other definition would be considered green power, should be excluded from the city's RPS portfolio by virtue of its size.

The DWP has agreed to meet every condition of the state's RPS legislation save for the hydro definition. It should be noted that the official RPS compliance date is 2017, not 2010, for private utilities to generate at least 20% of their electricity from renewable sources with the inclusion of Hoover Dam, increasing the DWP's RPS eligible percentage from 5% to 8%, not "halfway to the 20% goal .... "

Permitting the DWP to define Hoover Dam as an eligible renewable resource will not only save the city's ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the city' RPS program, but is wholly consistent with the state's primary objective of promoting renewable power plants of all sizes and technologies.

Cindy Miscikowski

L.A. City Councilwoman

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