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In Unexpected Twist, Municipal Services Committee Defers Voting on City’s Proposed Electric Power Plan

Published on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | 5:16 am
 

The City’s Municipal Services Committee deferred voting on the proposed 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for the Pasadena Water and Power Department. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, committee members asked PWP to provide a more concrete plan on how the city would attain its goal to be carbon free by 2030. 

An IRP is an electricity system planning document that describes how a utility plans to meet its energy and capacity needs in compliance with state guidelines. It has to be updated every five years by state law.

Further, the IRP outlines how the city’s electric sector will meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, maintain reliability, and manage costs.

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 (which is 2045). The resolution directs the City Manager to use the 2023 IRP process to meet this goal. 

The proposed IRP modeled five distinct designs or conditions called “scenarios” and several related impact studies to produce useful findings that can inform future policies and programs related to PWP’s portfolio.

Kelly Nguyen, assistant general manager of power supply for the PWP said the 2023 IRP “was modeled with the same forward thinking, determination to meet or exceed California’s increasingly aggressive clean energy targets as quickly as possible.” 

The 2023 IRP identifies multiple approaches to transition to the policy goal of sourcing 100% of Pasadena’s electricity from carbon free sources by the end of 2030 while optimizing for affordability, rate equity, stability and reliability, said Nguyen.

“I’m not prepared to take action on this today,” said Councilmember Jason Lyon. “We need a plan for moving forward.” 

Lyon pointed out the specific plan on how to attain carbon free was not indicated in the IRP.

“I think everyone is onboard for flexibility. What we don’t have here is any plan for getting there. Nothing in this document says here’s how we plan to get there.” 

“We have to establish a plan in the IRP that gets us theoretically to 100% carbon free by 2030.” 

Councilmember Justin Jones echoed Lyon’s statement. “I do think we need to create a plan that specifically outlines how we’re going to achieve our goal.” 

“We need some more time to read the plan and ask all of our questions,” Councilmember Tyron Hampton said for his part.

Vice Mayor Felicia Williams asked PWP to return and bring a solar equity study, a rate equity study and a plan detailing how PWP will partner with schools and the community to create more solar space.

Wiliams also asked PWP to provide options for repowering Glenarm and a new technology evaluation.

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. 

For more information visit: 

https://pwp.cityofpasadena.net/power/#:~:text=We%20get%20power%20from%20variety,50%25%20green%20portfolio%20by%202030.

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