Posted on 10/21/2020

The project will generate enough electricity for more than half a million Angelenos

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Garcetti today celebrated passage of the Red Cloud Wind Farm, a major renewable energy agreement that will provide enough clean energy to power 222,300 homes in Los Angeles. The project was approved by the Los Angeles City Council, acting on an item passed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners. 

“Even as we confront the immediate challenge of COVID-19, we remain laser-focused on building a stronger, more resilient, more sustainable, and equitable city,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Red Cloud Wind Farm agreement shows that solutions to the climate crisis have never been cheaper — and helps realize our promise of lower emissions, less pollution, and more clean energy innovation.”

Located in New Mexico, the Red Cloud Wind project will be the largest, highest capacity, and lowest cost wind farm in LADWP’s renewable energy portfolio. The project moves the City significantly closer to its goal of achieving a 55% renewable energy portfolio by 2025, 80% by 2036, and 100% by 2045.

The project will boost LADWP’s renewable energy portfolio by six percent and provide 1,333,000 megawatt-hours of energy for LADWP customers each year, which will help save approximately 464,040 metric tons of carbon emissions annually — the equivalent of removing nearly 100,000 gas-fueled cars from the road.

“Red Cloud Wind Farm is an excellent opportunity to diversify our renewable portfolio with a high capacity wind power project that taps into one of the richest wind regions in the country,” said LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams. “This project aligns perfectly with our strategy for expanding renewables with ‘best fit, least cost’ projects. It balances our growing solar power supply with more wind power, utilizes existing transmission rights, and significantly saves money for our customers by taking advantage of current federal tax benefits.”

The wind farm is being developed by Pattern Energy, and is expected to be complete by December 2021. The agreement approved by the City Council is the result of a competitive selection process administered by the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), which is responsible for selling the energy to LADWP. Red Cloud was selected out of 105 proposals submitted to SCPPA.

“With this major renewable energy project, LADWP is making good on the City’s commitment to transform our power supply and taking a major step forward in greening our grid and further reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Board of Water and Power Commission President Cynthia McClain-Hill. “It is yet another major milestone as the City of Los Angeles combats climate change and pursues Mayor Garcetti and the City Council’s bold agenda to make our City more sustainable and resilient.”

Red Cloud will utilize LADWP’s existing transmission rights and assets related to the Navajo Generating Station, a decommissioned coal plant near Page, Arizona. After Mayor Garcetti directed LADWP to sell its share of the plant in 2015, LADWP maintained the rights to the transmission capacity at the station, making it the point of delivery to LADWP’s existing transmission infrastructure carrying power to Los Angeles.

“Pattern Energy is thrilled to enter into this extraordinary partnership with the people of Los Angeles, using transmission lines originally built for coal as a kind of ‘superhighway’ for clean power,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “LADWP is a true leader in showing power companies how to transition away from polluting sources of power to clean energy. As a California company we are proud to be a part of the City’s clean energy future for decades to come.”

Mayor Garcetti has directed LADWP to pursue one of the most aggressive clean energy portfolios in the world. Last fall, he announced the approval of power purchase agreements for the Eland Solar and Storage Center — the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the United States, capable of  producing and holding enough energy to power 283,330 homes across Los Angeles. When complete in 2024 — and paired with the latest renewable energy investments from the Department — LADWP will receive 48% of its energy from renewable sources.