6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

L.A. Mayor Signs Solar Agreement With Tribe

Support Provided By
mata-occidental-12-6-12-thumb-600x279-41586

Villaraigosa signs off on solar agreement at Occidental College, with solar panels in background | Photo: Refugio Mata, Sierra Club

It's official: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will be buying all the electricity generated by the first-ever utility-scale photovoltaic power plant built on tribal land. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed off on the agreement between the utility and K Road Power, which is building the 250-megawatt Moapa Solar Energy Center on land owned by the Moapa Band of Paiutes northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The agreement, which has been wending its way from DWP through approval by the Los Angeles City Council and to Villaraigosa's figurative desk over the past few weeks, also provides future opportunities for DWP to buy out K Road and acquire the project outright. The project is expected to be delivering power to Los Angeles by 2016. Widely supported by the Moapa Band, the solar facility will occupy about 1,000 acres of tribal land in the shadow of the coal-fired, 557-megawatt Reid-Gardner Power Station.

The power purchase agreement between DWP and K Road extends for 25 years.

The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, which has been working to encourage DWP to give up coal-fired power, lauded Villaraigosa's approval of the agreement. The Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt, in a column at the Huffington Post, called the agreement "groundbreaking," saying:

This ground-breaking agreement is great news for everyone involved. From the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who are building the solar farm on their land; to the residents of Los Angeles, who will reap the benefits of cleaner electricity; to all Americans demanding a transition to clean energy; we salute the effective grassroots organizing by local citizens and strong leadership from city officials that brought this project to fruition.

DWP gets about 40 percent of its electrical power from coal-fired plants. That's a little more than ten times what the utility will derive from the Moapa facility at peak output. An important step, to be sure, but the utility still has a ways to go to fulfill its Sierra Club colleagues' directive of getting Beyond Coal. The Los Angeles City Council has approved funding to help DWP reduce its need for power from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station in Arizona through energy efficiency measures, as well as additional renewable power purchase agreements like today's.

ReWire is dedicated to covering renewable energy in California. Keep in touch by liking us on Facebook, and help shape our editorial direction by taking this quick survey here.

Support Provided By
Read More
Students at Manchester Ave. Elementary School have virtual meet and greet with teacher

State Deal Encourages School Reopening by April; but Local Resistance Looms

Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced a multibillion-dollar deal today aimed at enticing schools to resume in-person instruction for young students by April 1, but it's unlikely L.A. Unified will meet that date.
(LEFT) ER nurse Adwoa Blankson-Wood pictured near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, wearing scrubs and a surgical mask; By October, Blankson-Wood was required to don an N-95 mask, protective goggles, a head covering and full PPE to interact with patients.

As A Black Nurse at The Pandemic's Frontlines, I've Had A Close Look at America's Racial Divisions

Most of the time, I was able to frame conversations within the context of the virus and not race, telling patients that we were doing our best, trying to be the heroes they kept calling us. But I was dying inside .... It was easier to find solace in my job, easier to be just a nurse, than to be a Black nurse.
The City of L.A. is staging a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic in Chinatown for senior citizens, in an attempt to improve access to the vaccine among vulnerable populations.

Long-Awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Access Expanding in L.A. County Monday

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand vastly Monday, but health officials said today those workers will have to be patient as vaccine supplies remain limited and staff are trained to ensure only eligible people receive shots.