December 15, 2008


With First Wind Turbine Up and Running, Nation’s Largest Municipal Wind Farm is On-Track to Provide 120 Megawatts of Clean Power – 1.4% of Mayor Villaraigosa’s Renewable Energy Goal

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has begun spinning the first wind turbine of the nation’s largest municipally owned wind farm, sending 1.5 megawatts of clean, renewable wind energy to Los Angeles.

“Pine Tree is the start of a new model of clean energy, in which the City of Los Angeles is no longer satisfied with only buying clean power, but is taking the lead nationally in producing its own,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Today Los Angeles not only turns a new page in its energy history, we write an entirely new book for a livable, breathable LA.”

When completed in 2009, the 8,000-acre wind farm will deliver 120 megawatts of wind power to Los Angeles, enough energy to power 56,000 homes.

Representing 1.4 percent of the DWP’s energy portfolio, the completed Pine Tree project will bring the City closer to the Mayor’s ambitious goal of 20 percent renewables by 2010 – and 35 percent by 2020 – while dramatically cutting the City’s carbon footprint.

The clean energy produced by Pine Tree will also displace at least 200,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of taking 35,000 cars off the road. It will also cut 8 tons of nitrous oxide and 11 tons of carbon monoxide.

“I’m very, very proud to announce that LADWP is now providing renewable wind power from the Pine Tree Wind Farm to the people of Los Angeles,” said David Nahai, CEO & General Manager of LADWP. “Pine Tree represents this utility’s commitment to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and replacing it with clean, renewable energy.”

The first 1.5 megawatt turbine began the test phase for generating power on Friday, December 5. Over the next few weeks, 14 turbines will begin sending power to Los Angeles as part of the test phase of operation. Pine Tree is on schedule to achieve substantial completion in May 2009, when all elements of the wind farm will be operational.

Pine Tree’s energy will come from 80 1.5-megawatt wind turbine generators. The project also includes a new high-voltage transmission line and the new Barren Ridge electrical substation – with a total estimated cost of $425 million.

“This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work of LADWP crews and engineers who are forging new territory in LADWP’s power generation portfolio as we move toward utilizing clean, green technologies,” said Aram Benyamin, LADWP assistant general manager – power.

LADWP is building the wind farm in collaboration with Kiewit Pacific Co., the project contractor; General Electric, which manufactured the turbines; and Parr Electrical Contractors, Inc., which built the transmission line.

Pine Tree is unique in that it will be the largest municipally owned and operated wind farm in the nation. LADWP and City officials broke ground on the wind farm in January 2008. The project’s construction is generating hundreds of green jobs, in addition to the dozen full-time jobs for the farm’s long-term operation and maintenance.

Since Mayor Villaraigosa set the renewables target in 2005 of reaching 20% by 2010, the City has nearly quadrupled its current renewables portfolio (from 3 percent), while approving numerous projects now in the pipeline that will come online by 2010.

On May 15, 2007, Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled GREEN LA – An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming. GREEN LA sets Los Angeles on a course to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, going beyond the targets of the Kyoto Protocol and representing the most ambitious goal of any large US city.

The cornerstone of GREEN LA is increasing the City’s use of renewable energy to 35 percent by 2020.

GREEN LA has over 50 initiatives that will reduce the City’s carbon footprint.

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Parita Shah
Press Secretary
Office of Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-978-0576 (fax)