Mike joined with two of his colleagues today to send a sharply-worded letter to the Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners, urging the Commission to approve a contract for what would be the lowest price ever paid for solar power in the United States.
“History sometimes presents defining moments, forcing us to show whether we are capable of a great challenge, or whether we will shrink from it,” Councilmembers Bonin, Paul Koretz, and Paul Krekorian wrote in the letter. “We are living our defining moment in the existential battle against the climate crisis. We must rise to it. For the good of future generations, we urge you to approve the contract without further delay.”
Read the full letter below.
August 28, 2019
Board of Water and Power Commissioners
Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1555-H
Los Angeles, CA 90012
We were shocked and dismayed to read this morning that your board Tuesday failed to approve a landmark solar contract that would help combat the climate crisis, save ratepayer’s money, and create good-paying union jobs. We urge you most strongly to take action and approve this contract immediately.
Your board has the opportunity to approve a contract for what would be the lowest price ever paid for solar power in the United States. Your board can move forward on a solar project that would be cheaper than the cost of natural gas, that would deliver power 98% of the day, and would provide a Project Labor Agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Not approving this contract is fiscally irresponsible and an act of surrender in the battle against the climate crisis that threatens our children and our environment.
According to the Los Angeles Times (“Los Angeles has lined up record-cheap solar power. But there’s a problem,” August 28, 2019), the 25-year contract with 8minute Solar Energy would not only provide power at a price far lower than the cost of dirty and dangerous natural gas, it would add battery storage capacity so energy produced by the sun during the day could be used to provide power at night. This project proves that the clean energy revolution is here, that progress is possible, and that there is reason for optimism in our efforts to save the planet from catastrophic climate change.
This contract saves ratepayers’ money. In addition to offering remarkably cheap power, electricity produced by this contract would offer a significant boost to our efforts to satisfy state mandates for renewable energy – which carry financial penalties if they are not met. We cannot pass up a chance to add hundreds of megawatts of renewable energy to our portfolio at a record low price — especially when doing so would risk saddling ratepayers with stiff and steep penalties.
This contract also presents an opportunity for LADWP to demonstrate that it will be a leader in creating a just transition for workers as we enter a green economy. Moving from fossil fuels to clean energy will require tremendous investment in infrastructure, in facilities, and in transmission lines, creating tens of thousands of well-paying union jobs. This contract can demonstrate LADWP’s commitment and determination to purchase clean energy from companies that share that goal and are willing to work cooperatively with labor partners. LADWP can show that it can implement a Green New Deal that focuses on creating good jobs and providing a prosperous future for the workers who help keep the lights on in our neighborhoods.
History sometimes presents defining moments, forcing us to show whether we are capable of a great challenge, or whether we will shrink from it. We are living our defining moment in the existential battle against the climate crisis. We must rise to it. For the good of future generations, we urge you to approve the contract without further delay.
Councilmember, 11th District
Councilmember, 2nd District