Southern California environment news and trends

LA Mayor Villaraigosa signs 2 deals to bring solar panel to LADWP's energy mix

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The LA Department of Water and Power is focusing on adding solar power to the city's energy mix, as it heads toward a goal of 33% renewable energy.

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced two deals to deliver solar energy from Nevada and tribal lands to Angelenos' homes. 

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the LA City Council have already approved the contracts. One agreement with the Moapa Band of Paiutes will move up to 250 megawatts of power from solar panels and a concentrating solar tower from the tribe's land near Las Vegas. Another will bring 210 megawatts of power from an expansion of Sempra's Copper Mountain solar panel farm that’ll go on line in a couple of years.

The DWP says that together they'll serve more than 330-thousand households in LA. City officials have heaped praise on the utility's emphasis on solar power. So has the Sierra Club; its president says the deal with the Paiutes offers environmental justice to the people who live on land next to a coal-fired power plant.

The mayor says the city remains committed to developing 33 percent of its power as renewable or clean within 8 years.

Los Angeles still gets about 40 percent of its energy from coal. DWP and city officials say LA's working to end its reliance on that power and its heavy impact on global warming - but they're not saying when they'll meet that goal. 

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