With Thursday’s public meeting, Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) wrapped up its public consultation process for the City’s 2023 Power Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), with the final recommendations now set to be presented to the City Council. Thursday’s was the last of three community meetings for the plan, marking the end of a series of discussions that began on December 14, 2022.
The IRP, a strategic blueprint for providing reliable, environmentally responsible electricity at competitive rates over a 25-year period, is being updated to address key conservation goals. These include achieving forecasted peak and energy loads, satisfying California’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, reducing carbon emissions to zero, and meeting new capacity planning standards and reliability criteria in California.
Kelly Nguyen, Assistant General Manager of Power Supply for PWP, said that the 2023 IRP was developed with a forward-thinking approach and a determination to meet or exceed California’s increasingly aggressive clean energy targets as quickly as possible. This comes in light of Senate Bill 2010, which commits the state to achieve 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2045.
In January, Pasadena set an ambitious goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030, surpassing the state target.
In total, City staff have conducted three community meetings while the Stakeholder Technical Advisory Group, established to represent a broad cross-section of the Pasadena community to advise PWP on crucial aspects of the IRP, conducted a total of 10 meetings.
The 2023 IRP will be presented to the Municipal Services Committee on October 10 before being put to a vote at the full City Council on November 6.
Last January, Pasadena adopted a resolution which sets a goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030, earlier than the state target.
The resolution directs the city manager to use the 2023 IRP process to meet this goal.
Currently, PWP gets power from a variety of sources including coal, hydropower, natural-gas-fired generators, renewable energy such as solar and wind power, and power PWP purchases on the wholesale market.
Patrick Maguire from consultant ACES said the city has a host of contracts and resources that are already signed or are expected to be in the portfolio in the future.
One of PWP’s sources of electricity is the Intermountain Power Project (IPP), a coal-fired electricity generation facility in Delta, Utah, which has been providing power to PWP along with the cities of Anaheim, Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, and Riverside since 1987 through a 40-year contract.
IPP provides Pasadena with 108 megawatts every year from 2023-2025.
“In the middle of 2025, that coal plant will be converted to burn natural gas. PWP’s take will be reduced from 108 to 50,” said Maguire.
Maguire said by the end of 2027, PWP will no longer participate in the project.
PWP also gets power from the Glenarm Repowering Project, Magnolia Power Plant, Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant, and Hoover Dam, among other sources.
Maguire said to achieve a 100 percent carbon-free portfolio, PWP has to secure 1,300-1,500 megawatts of renewable energy from a mix of sources.
“Here is what a 100 percent carbon-free portfolio looks like, the coal goes away by the time some of the battery storage comes off and it’s kind of saying, here is what we kind of expect today, there is 108 megawatts of coal in the portfolio, here is a little over 200 megawatts of gas.”
Maguire said if PWP will be able to hit 100 percent carbon-free hourly, if it will be able to secure 550-700 megawatts of solar energy, 600-700 megawatts of energy from battery storage, 30-60 megawatts of wind energy, 45-55 megawatts of geothermal energy and 35 megawatts of energy from fuel cell.
“What is required is procuring or adding an additional 1,300-1,500 megawatts of installed capacity with that mix of solar, storage, wind, geothermal and fuel cell,” said Maguire.
For more information about the IRP Process, visit: https://pwp.cityofpasadena.net/powerirp/