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Fred Pickel is the ratepayer advocate at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. And he agrees that the nation’s second-biggest city may want to look for cheaper sources of electricity — large-scale wind or solar facilities. That would allow it to use the IPP location as a hub for alternative-energy generation to help lessen the economic impact on consumers that will result from the switch away from coal to higher cost natural gas.
Pickel has estimated the cost to Los Angeles of eliminating its purchases of electricity generated from coal by 2025 instead of 2027 will be about $500 million, or $5.21 for every person living in the city.
IPP fast facts
Year construction began » 1982
Year generation started » 1986
Primary fuel source » Coal
Employees » 485
Power generated » 1,800 megawatts, or enough power for 1.4 million homes
Primary customers » California municipalities
Source: IPP “Station Overview and History”
Although the cost of producing electricity from renewable resources and natural gas have declined in the past five years, the cost of integrating renewable resources into the city’s electric distribution system is uncertain, Pickel said.
"We have about seven years to explore alternatives before specific permitting and construction actions must be taken to meet the accelerated 2025 deadline," he said.
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