Topline: Los Angeles’s public utility struck a deal on Tuesday with developer 8Minute Renewables to build the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the U.S., which officials and environmental activists say will provide the city with cheaper and cleaner energy and move the city closer to having 100% renewable energy by 2045, as mandated by a state law.
Key Background: State law mandates that California get its energy from 100% renewable sources by 2045. Los Angeles already gets 31% from clean sources. With the Eland plant, that number would go up to about 38%.
Key Critic: While the deal was championed by the Sunrise Movement and other environmental activists who say that municipal governments need to shift toward clean energy in order to avert a climate disaster, the labor union for the city’s public utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, initially had concerns the project, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A deal was eventually signed, as the project is expected to create 700 jobs over a 14-month construction period and employ 40 long-term employees when in service. Tensions still remain between the union and the DWP over larger issues pertaining to the city’s shift away from natural gas, according to the Los Angeles Times.
What’s Next: The agreement still needs to be approved by the city council.
Date: Sep 10, 2019