first_imgLos Angeles’ efforts to buy more “green” power got a boost Friday as officials approved two contracts to purchase electricity generated by hydroelectric, biomass and wind farms in the Pacific Northwest. The contracts with Powerex Corp. will increase the Department of Water and Power’s green power purchases by 2percent and bring the total amount of power generated by renewable sources to 8percent. The DWP is scrambling to find alternative energy sources to meet a mandate from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa that 20percent of the city’s electricity be generated by environmentally friendly sources by 2010. “This is a great example of the mayor, the City Council and labor working together to make Los Angeles the greenest big city in America,” the Mayor’s Office said in a statement. The Powerex deals will provide electricity generated by hydroelectric plants, wind farms and landfill gas in the Pacific Northwest. The electricity will be delivered to Los Angeles via transmission lines that the DWP owns. The contracts had been stalled for months amid grievances and complaints by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which represents DWP employees. The union was concerned the utility was buying power rather than developing its own reliable sources of green power staffed by DWP employees. The DWP and the union reached a settlement earlier this month under which the IBEW dropped its grievances in exchange for the utility setting a schedule to develop green-power facilities and pursue re-starting natural-gas generating stations in Los Angeles. “The agency is utilizing power purchase agreements such as this as a bridge to increasing our supply of renewable energy in the short term, while pursuing plans to build renewable power generation for ownership over the long term,” Board of Water and Power Commissioners President David Nahai said. The Powerex contracts will provide electricity for about 70,000 homes a year. The agreement takes effect April1 and will cost up to $39million a year. [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more