DWP Board approves large solar energy purchase

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Solar energy in Los Angeles got a big boost Tuesday, with the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners approving one of the largest solar energy purchasing agreements in Los Angeles history.

Now, the proposed deal must be approved by the City Council. If they green-light the purchase, the company 8minute Solar Energy would contract with the DWP to provide power from the Barren Ridge solar project in the Mojave Desert. The board approved the project unanimously.

“We need to do it now… To help the most impacted communities and to be sure that workers who are displaced wind up having a seat at the table, and I believe this solar project does that,” Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz said. “I think not doing this could be the missed opportunity of a lifetime, and I ask you to do the right thing… And vote for this project.”

The project would cost $32.97 per megawatt hour and include battery storage with no escalation over a 25-year period. That amounts to about $1.1 billion in total.

According to department reports, the energy would be the cheapest solar energy in the nation, and would $19.97 per megawatt hour for solar energy, and $13 per megawatt hour for the battery system. Home energy bills would see costs less than 2 cents per kilowatt hour.

About two dozen people spoke during Tuesday’s Board of Water and Power meeting in support of the solar energy purchase. A date for when the City Council will consider the agreement has yet to be set.

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