LADWP makes progress on plant rebuilds, replacements

Over the next 15 years, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will replace over 70% of its power supply, including current coal-fired generation, to become more sustainable and to comply with state environmental mandates.

Randy Howard, Director of Power System Planning & Development for LADWP, outlined the status of that effort in a July 15 presentation at a joint California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission workshop on electricity infrastructure issues resulting from the permanent San Onofre nuclear plant closure.

LADWP is making progress toward meeting goals and mandates, guided by long-term Integrated Resource Planning. Highlights include:

  • Achieved 20% renewables;
  • Record investment in energy efficiency in 2012 (more than doubled budget).
  • Eliminating ocean water cooling at coastal power plants (Haynes 5 & 6);
  • Record-level Solar Incentive Program participation. Approved installation of 100th MW of customer-installed rooftop solar in 2012;
  • Approved 150 MW Feed-in Tariff Solar Program. First 100 MW starting the first quarter of 2013. First system energized in June;
  • Approved largest municipal utility-scale solar developments in U.S. history. Completed Adelanto and Pine Tree Solar Power Plant;
  • Upgraded interstate transmission lines to bring more renewables to Los Angeles; and
  • Reduced CO2 emissions to 21% below 1990 levels.

LADWP is evaluating options to make up for the shortfall of generating capacity in the Los Angeles Basin area, including measures such as transmission upgrades, energy efficiency, demand-side management, and distributed generation programs.

Long-term goals include:

  • Achieve at least 10% energy efficiency by 2020;
  • Reach 33% renewable energy by 2020, with an interim target of 25% by 2016;
  • Rebuild coastal power plants to eliminate ocean water cooling (Haynes, Scattergood and Harbor stations); and
  • Eliminate coal from LADWP’s power supply (Navajo and Intermountain plants).

LADWP is on a schedule to replace nine gas-fired units at three coastal power plants due to cooling issues. No unit can be taken offline until the replacement is ready. The replacement schedule is:

  • Haynes Units 5-6, June 2013;
  • Scattergood 3, December 2015;
  • Scattergood 1-2, December 2020;
  • Haynes 1-2, December 2023;
  • Harbor 5, December 2026; and
  • Haynes 8, December 2029.

The 477 MW of coal capacity that LADWP has at the Navajo plant in Arizona would be replaced with a combination of renewables (solar, wind and geothermal), energy efficiency and gas-fired combined-cycle capacity. New gas-fired combined cycle capacity would largely replace Intermountain, a plant located in Utah. “To maintain reliable energy supply without coal requires careful integration of all transformation elements,” the presentation noted.

The LADWP website says about the Haynes replacement project: “The main objective of this project is to repower Haynes Generating Station Units 5 and 6 with six modern, state-of-the art, simple-cycle gas turbine units capable of generating 600 megawatts (MW) to improve efficiency, reliability, and flexibility. Haynes Generating Station Units 5 and 6 has been in service since 1966 and 1967, respectively. The proposed new project would substantially improve the LADWP generation system efficiency, reliability, and flexibility compared to the existing steam boiler units. It would also provide effective load-following capability that would maximize the utilization of wind power within the LADWP generation system.”

Says the website about the next repowering in the queue, at Scattergood 3: “This project is to repower Scattergood Generating Station Unit 3 with modern, state-of-the art, combined-cycle units, and/or simple-cycle gas turbine units for a total generation of up to 575 megawatts (MW). Scattergood Generating Station Unit 3 has been in service since 1974. The proposed new project would substantially improve LADWP generation system efficiency, reliability, and flexibility compared to the existing steam boiler units it would replace. It would also provide effective load-following capability that would maximize the utilization of renewable power within the LADWP generation system.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.