Friday, November 24, 2006

City Utilities End Coal Fired Electricity Contracts in California



In what is hopefully the start of a new trend, several Southern California cities have decided not to renew long-term contracts for coal-fired electricity, choosing instead to turn to cleaner sources of electricity.

City officials told Utah-based Intermountain Power Agency they wouldn't be renewing their contracts for coal-fired power, which expire in 2027, and would instead be looking for alternative energy sources.

"It's a huge change," said Mayor Todd Campbell of Burbank, one of the cities that decided not to renew its contract.

The cities are Pasadena, Glendale, Riverside and Anaheim. They join the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which has already choosen not to renew the contract with Intermountain. Currently coal fired electricity makes up a significant percentage of their power, for example Pasadena Water & Power says that the Intermountain plant is 65 percent of our energy.

Intermountain's general manager Reed Searle said the company had worked for three years on the renewals and was now looking at ways to modernize its plants to bring them into compliance with California's greenhouse gas legislation that takes effect on the first of January.

The cities' decision came after increased pressure from politicians and environmentalists.

Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter to an umbrella group for the cities last week saying she was "shocked and dismayed" by an initial decision last month by Burbank to renew the contract.

Phyllis Currie, general manager of Pasadena Water & Power said the utilities wanted to explain how important Intermountain was to California cities. "It's a serious issue when you tell us to walk away from that," she said.

The move could put Southern California in the forefront nationally of the commercial use of alternative energy in coming years.

Intermountain has extended its renewal offer for power from the plants until 2023 from the previous deadline of May 2007 in the hope state regulators will let utility officials renew the contracts if greenhouse gases are reduced. Electricity utilities are starting to feel the pressure for "clean" coal.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is hopefully the first in a string of many blows to the dirty coal industry.

4:02 pm, November 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

true to dat jer large.

4:26 pm, November 24, 2006  
Anonymous Craig Mackintosh said...

This 'reshuffling' of industries, and industry focus, is going to be a painful one. There are jobs and new job training factors - but turning the good ship 'Industrial Revolution' around, and onto a better course, was never going to be easy...

5:50 am, November 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im ok with reshuffling , and training because im in my 2nd year of college, for alternative energy.

ill be done when it turns out to be important

12:43 pm, November 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that being said, there is more coal available (buried and on reserves) then any other hydrocarbon on earth.

4:29 pm, December 06, 2006  
Blogger FANCY said...

I have rolling round on your blog...and catch all the energy here...*L*... more of this.

//Fancy

5:32 pm, December 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sooner more cities start utilising alternative energies, the sooner we can start to feel confident about ensuring sustenable access to energy sources in the long term, and more importantly ensure the choices being made are towards clean energy.

4:55 am, December 26, 2006  
Anonymous Candain ChemEng said...

Dirty coal is one topic but coal in general should not be shunned... I would like for you all to read up on coal gasification... I would like for everyone to know it is possible to achieve very high efficiencies with very low emmissions... and an added bonus is that coal reserves world wide are enormous to say the least...

This process for using coal is a fantasic step for making to switch off of other fossil fuels until a suitable alternate can be met.... we need to take baby steps people... Rome really wasn't built in a day... nor is saving the world...

I am a Chemical Engineer who has been reseaching in this field as well as fuel cells for several years... please feel free to ask questions and I will answer as best I can...

2:32 am, December 30, 2006  
Anonymous jenniferS said...

[QUOTE:]"...this week the BBC announced that scientist have revised this estimate to 2040, that's a drop of 60 years in 6 months! If this is true and we also take into account the current melt rate , based on 2005 perennial melt (14%), then we may have less than 7 years until there is no longer any sea ice!"[QUOTE]
taken from http://www.clubofpioneers.com/blog/blog-from-david-de-rothschild/13/

It sounds too drastic to me, however it's a shocking thought, even if a follow-up calculation sets the date further back again, the possibility that it will happen rather "soon" frightens me. As the previous speaker said: you have to take baby steps...but maybe this baby needs to quicken its pace

1:08 pm, January 08, 2007  
Anonymous Candain ChemEng said...

Ha! Well put. I completely agree with you. Introducing alternatives is a fickle thing... if you do it too fast you scare away consumers, if you do it too slow people loose interest or the technology loses relevancy (ie. all the ice melts before we make a change...). We need to do several things similtaneously: we need to replace/update our big polluters (ie power plants, out-of-date buildings, etc.) while slowly integrating technologies that consumers interact with directly (ie cars, etc.). The big polluters can, funnily enough, be changed much quicker that what the consumer half can be. Touble is getting the big companies who own these plants to spend more money to update/upgrade and rebuild. The baby steps need to be taken with the little consumers not the big boys...

5:49 pm, January 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just words, it has no meaning since it isn't actually going to happen for another 20 years, and if at any point over the next 20 years the people in charge decide to undo this order they can simply repeal it and go back to coal power. I find it highly unlikely that in 20 years these cities won't still be using coal power.

5:04 pm, January 21, 2007  
Anonymous tom_squick said...

Old King Coal!

8:07 pm, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Tony McKenna said...

I think we need more wind power and more testing with sea water. But changes need to be started now, to slow the prosses of global warming, and if we'd have acted sooner we might have been able to stop it, too little too late is not enough to save the planet for our children and their chilren.

1:03 am, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Chad Rauschuber said...

i really believe in clean coal, but there are a variety of other solutions to the upcoming energy crisis of the 21st century. Clean coal is an awesome idea for the short-term, i think, but we need not to stray from researching and developing other energy solutions such as geothermal, wind, solar, and hydrogen (fuel cells and fusion).

To succeed in energy independence, we will need a powerful, efficient grid, that utilizes all of these available technologies in the geographical locations they will be most efficient and productive. We can expect energy needs to rise by as much as 50% by 2050 and we need to be ready to handle that

I also think we as a society have to change our mindset to achieve energy independence. our policies and politicians must support change, as well as be the catalysts of this change. As of now, i dont think we have cared about this as much as we should.

5:35 pm, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog. I recently learned that BP has given a $500 million grant to start up an Energy Biosciences Institute in IL. It will the first in the world! With so much confusion and debate upon every kind of energy source there is, hopefully we can finally get somewhere with this whole mess. Oh, and about the comment from Ciao; I dunno if you noticed this small detail, but I think the blog and all the other comments were in E-N-G-L-I-S-H. If you can read english, I would imagine you can type it as well. Don't make things more difficult for us here on our home turf. I'm not racist, but simply annoyed when people expect catoring...large difference. And I can deal with diversity, I just don't want to have to go to school to learn it.

12:44 am, March 27, 2007  
Anonymous Cameron said...

Finally we have some politicians with a game plan of sorts. Lets now spread it across the country.

8:08 am, April 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first thing all you "alternative energy" fanatics need to do is take a short course on how our energy supply and the grid works.

You need energy supply from constant reliable sources, otherwise, like wind power, your computers and latte machines will be going berzerk! Sometimes wind doesn't blow for months... did you know that? And it doesn't blow when it's hot.... are you all willing to sweat it out? In fact it only blows 5% of the time in summer! And were you aware that the 4000 windmills near Palm Springs only generate .007 of what Edison uses in one year? And 60% of this miniscule amount is generated at night!

You bet you'll be having some drastic lifestyle changes! Get ready, if this is what you want... cuase you won't even be able to make ice cubes.

8:32 pm, September 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first thing all you "alternative energy" fanatics need to do is take a short course on how our energy supply and the grid works.

You need energy supply from constant reliable sources, otherwise, like wind power, your computers and latte machines will be going berzerk! Sometimes wind doesn't blow for months... did you know that? And it doesn't blow when it's hot.... are you all willing to sweat it out? In fact it only blows 5% of the time in summer! And were you aware that the 4000 windmills near Palm Springs only generate .007 of what Edison uses in one year? And 60% of this miniscule amount is generated at night!

You bet you'll be having some drastic lifestyle changes! Get ready, if this is what you want... cause you won't even be able to make ice cubes.

8:38 pm, September 10, 2007  
Anonymous NiraliSherni said...

Santa Rosa has become an unlikely pioneer in developing alternative ways to produce electricity. Under Their Geysers' wastewater-to-electricity project,12 million gallons of wastewater the city is pumped to the steam fields daily which is then converted into 85 megawatts of power, enough to power 85,000 homes.

12:24 am, March 24, 2008  

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