Utah adds more wind to the mix of energy it sends Southern California

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Giant wind turbines are powered by strong prevailing winds on May 13, 2008 near Palm Springs, California.

Southern California utilities have added a new renewable energy source to their portfolios, thanks to a new wind project in Utah.

Milford 2 in Utah will send more than a hundred megawatts of energy to L.A.'s Department of Water and Power, Glendale Water and Power and a joint Southern California agency that both utilities belong to. Milford 2 comes on-line this week, joining its sibling Milford 1 that’s been sending power to the Southland for more than a year.

Together, they’ll produce enough energy to power 64,000 homes. That’s a small fraction of Southern California’s energy needs – but Milford 2 is still a big deal.

It’s near Utah’s coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant, so Milford’s wind power can use the same transmission lines that now deliver coal power to L.A. Milford’s transmission will cost a tenth of what it would if they had to string new power lines.

It’s not clear how long coal and wind will share transmission lines. The LADWP’s contract for coal energy from Utah’s Intermountain Power Plant doesn’t expire for 16 years. But Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has vowed to end coal-powered electricity in L.A. in nine years.

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