PAUSE THE GAS—work to replace with clean energy
Support the Motion by Council Member Brotman
GLENDALE CAN DO BETTER!
The Grayson Repowering Proposal would commit our city to a huge investment in fossil fuels for a small percentage of our overall use. City Council should reject the Grayson Repowering Project in its current form and tell GWP to further reduce the need for gas generation by prioritizing local distributed solar and storage, energy efficiency, and other ways to reduce energy demand. All new transmission into Glendale should be included in energy planning. Glendale needs to explore ways to avoid the financial and health risks of this project.
In April 2018, the Grayson Repowering Project—a project to replace existing equipment at Grayson with new gas-burning equipment with 262 MW of energy capacity—was rejected by City Council after community protest and advocacy for clean energy.
In July 2019, City Council conditionally approved the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and an energy portfolio with 93 MW of gas burning, 75 MW of battery storage, and projects for energy efficiency, demand response, and a solar-and-storage virtual power plant. City Council directed GWP to pursue more clean energy to reduce the need for gas. Council also asked for development of a plan for goals or methods to achieve 100% clean energy by 2030. GEC & Sierra Club penned a letter with recommendations for a path forward.
Now, in 2022, the Grayson Repowering Project, based on the prior 2019 IRP energy mix, still has about 100 MW of gas equipment, in two alternative forms City Council will choose from: either 93 MW from 5 new internal combustion engine (ICE) units, or 101 MW from refurbishing two existing Grayson turbines. GWP did not do enough to find clean energy alternatives to gas in the 2 1/2 years since summer 2019 and has not accounted for the benefits of 72 MW of increased transmission rights, coming in 2027. Glendale can do a lot more to build our local resources, to power our city with local, clean, reliable energy. We do NOT need the proposed amount of gas.
UPDATE, February 15, 2022: Glendale Mayor Paula Devine, Councilmember Vrej Agajanian, and Councilmember Ara Najarian voted 3-2 to approve the full Alternative 7 proposal, including $260 million for 93 MW of new fossil fuel equipment for Glendale Water and Power. Councilmember Dan Brotman made a motion to hold off on approving the gas-burning engines and work to reduce or eliminate the need for them while moving forward with other important parts of the project, but other Council members sidestepped that motion and voted for immediate approval instead. Councilmember Najarian asked for Council to consider Councilmember Brotman’s motion at their next meeting, March 1. This is our LAST CHANCE to insist that Glendale commit to a clean energy agenda starting now.
Amendment Considered at City Council
March 1, 2022 @ 6PM
Agenda: Link TBD
WHAT CAN I DO?
If you are a Glendale resident, please email City Council by Monday, February 28, AND call in to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 1, at 6 pm to show your support for Councilmember Brotman’s motion.
Mayor Paula Devine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vrej Agajanian: email@example.com
Dan Brotman: dbrotman@Glendaleca.gov
Ardy Kassakhian: AKassakhian@GlendaleCA.gov
Ara Najarian: firstname.lastname@example.org
What Else Can I Do?
Sign Up here for updates and ways to take action.
Email us at email@example.com to volunteer on the campaign.
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ARGUMENTS FOR LESS GAS
- Climate Change: We need rapid transition to clean energy now to avoid catastrophic climate impacts. Every local government needs to do as much as it can to avoid burning fossil fuels during this critical decade. Adding gas-burning equipment impedes that goal and is the wrong way to go.
- Clean Energy Potential: GWP must fully explore all other options, and it has not yet done so. GWP should focus more on solar + storage programs, load management, more transmission, and clean energy innovations first instead of investing in gas generation to meet our energy needs.
- Not Enough Solar + Storage: GWP has not launched a commercial solar program, or done enough to encourage more private residential solar + storage. Much more can and must be done to maximize local, distributed energy.
- Not Enough RFPs: Although City Council asked GWP to pursue technologies and distributed renewable energy resources to reduce the need for gas generation at Grayson, GWP has not issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for new local clean energy projects since 2018. There is a lot of potential that should be explored before Glendale commits to gas-powered energy.
- Financial Concerns: The Grayson project will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The main rationale for adding this energy capacity is to meet “reserve” requirements—in essence, to insure against situations where other power sources go down, like a downed transmission line. Once the new equipment is installed, GWP proposes to use it only 15% of the time to cover peak demand, and it will help in the short term until new transmission comes online. This is incredibly expensive insurance, and a lot of money to spend for equipment that will sit idle most of the time. There are cleaner and more affordable ways to meet or reduce Glendale’s energy needs. Plus, this technology may well be obsolete or legally prohibited long before the end of its useful lifetime. Glendale ratepayers will foot the bill and may end up paying twice. Instead, we could invest in technology that can last for the long term.
- Gas Price Risks: A gas plant relies on gas supplies from outside Glendale. If there are problems with supply, prices will spike. When that happened in the past, GWP shut down the whole plant for seven months. Using Grayson in similar circumstances would add significant costs to operate the gas plant. Furthermore, utility gas supply prices are escalating sharply.
- Air Pollution: Air pollution is a major concern in the neighborhoods near Grayson, which are heavily burdened by the power plant and freeways. The Grayson Power Plant produces significant amounts of air pollutants that cause cancer, asthma, heart disease, dementia, as well as impaired cognitive development in children. The Los Angeles region has among the worst air quality in the country. Glendale should do everything it can to minimize emissions in this area, including replacing the old Grayson units with local clean energy instead of new or refurbished units.
Partially Recirculated Draft Environmental Report (PR-DEIR):
With the original proposal for 262MW of gas, the two current proposed project alternatives and additional project alternatives that were dismissed.
Sierra Club / GEC July 2019 letter critiquing the GWP proposal and suggesting a path forward:
OPEN LETTER to Glendale City Council
Inside Glendale Clean Energy Projects:
SunRun Virtual Power Plant (Project has been in negotiations since 2018)
Lime Energy (Energy Efficiency Program)
Franklin Energy (Demand Response Program)
Solar & Storage on City-Owned Properties (In research/planning phase. Report at GWP Commission is linked.)
Watch progress on these projects here: Clean Energy Update Memos
Additional Articles of Note:
“Falling into the Same Ditches” — The Saga of Glendale’s Grayson Power Plant, Sierra Club, February 23, 2022
Glendale Needs to Maximize Clean Energy – Op-Ed, One Colorado, February 3, 2022
As climate crisis worsens, this California city wants to build a gas plant , Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, Jan 27, 2022
Glendale’s Misguided Gas Power Plan Sierra Club, January 7, 2022
LA approves 100% clean energy by 2035 target, a decade ahead of prior goal , Utility Dive, September 2, 2021
PROJECT HISTORY & GEC IMPACT
From 262 MW in 2017, to the 93-101 MW proposed today, GEC has made a difference! NOW, once again, we need your voice to ask our City Council for a BETTER Grayson Repowering Proposal that FURTHER REDUCES investments in fossil fuels.
Press Coverage of GEC’s Original
Clean Energy (Stop Grayson) Campaign
JULY 2019 – Los Angeles Times Environmentalists balk as Glendale power plant officials unveil ‘portfolio of tomorrow’
MAR 2019—Glendale News Press: After Los Angeles’ decision not to repower 3 gas plants, Glendale officials urged to follow suit at Grayson
APR 2018—Glendale News Press: City Council votes to look at renewable-energy alternatives for Grayson plant
APR 2018—Cleantechmedia.com: Glendale Shelves $500 Million Gas Plant to Examine Clean Alternatives
APR 2018—Earthjustice.org: Glendale Hits the Brakes on 500 MIL Gas Fired Power Plant
APR 2018—The Horizon and the Skyline.com: Glendale Puts Hold on Grayson Re-powering
MAR 2018—Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter: Gray skies over Glendale? Join us for April 10 rally to oppose power plant expansion
AUG 2018—Los Angeles Daily News: Glendale Environmental Coalition Ditches Protests for Google Mapping and Crowd Sourcing Grayson Power Plant Alternatives
JULY 2018—Glendale News Press Op-ed by Dan Brotman & Michael Beck: People Powering Glendale with Virtual Power Plant
APR 2018—Knock-La.com: Perhaps the end of “dinosaur” fuel for powering Glendale
JAN 2018—Glendale News Press: Residents rally outside Glendale City Hall against Grayson Power Plant project
JAN 2018—Glendale News Press: City Council requests comprehensive review of renewable alternatives for Grayson Power Plant
JAN 2018—Glenoaks Canyon HOA: A Look at Glendale’s Biggest Issue – The Grayson Power Plant
DEC 2017—ANCAGlendale.org: ANCA Glendale Meets with Glendale Environmental Coalition
OCT 2017—Los Angeles Times: Residents demand more study of renewable-energy alternatives to Grayson Power Plant renovation
OCT 2017—El Vaquero (Glendale Community College): Skepticism Mounts Over Grayson Repowering Plan
AUG 2017—Glendale New Press: The case against Grayson repowering by Dan Brotman
Supporters of GEC’s Original
Clean Energy (Stop Grayson) Campaign:
Glendale Coalition for a Better Government—Support Statement: “The Coalition will work to prevent the ‘repowering’ of the Grayson Plant from a fiscal perspective. The Coalition is working with Dan Brotman, Founder of the Environmental Coalition. Brotman is working from the environmental aspect, the Coalition from a fiscal aspect…both working toward the same goal: A cleaner, less costly repowering!!”
CA Assemblywoman Laura Friedman—Grayson Power Plant project should be shelved (Op-ed, Glendale News Press, June 2018): “I want to focus on the economic risks posed by this plant because it’s important to understand that a healthy environment and a good economy go hand in hand today, while investments in fossil fuels are increasingly taking money out of our wallets and holding our economy back. To put it bluntly: Expanding the Grayson Power Plant will place an unacceptable cost burden on Glendale families when cheaper, safer alternatives exist….Glendale should halt plans for Grayson, bring in external consultants to develop a clean-energy alternative and move our city into the cost-effective, clean-energy future Glendale deserves.”
CA State Senator Anthony Portantino & Susana Reyes—sum up the problems with the plant expansion with their letter to the editor of the LA Times: “In short, the Grayson proposal would increase emissions and particulates that would adversely affect our climate and potentially impact the health of children at Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Mark Keppel Elementary and the Disney Children’s Center, as well as elderly residents of nearby Pelanconi Estates. The DEIR predicts global warming emissions will increase nearly seven-fold. This is the equivalent to 90,000 additional cars on Glendale’s roads….As recently proposed by Councilman Zareh Sinanyan, Glendale residents and ratepayers deserve that alternatives be thoroughly examined separately and independently from the Grayson EIR process. Given the severity of the environmental concerns and the cost involved with Grayson it can be argued that a multipronged renewables portfolio would be less expensive to implement and would meet California’s increasingly stringent emissions requirements.”
Jose Huizar, Los Angeles City Council District 14—Statement of Support: “The Councilmember’s staff asked the Glendale Council to support the recommendation of the Glendale Water and Power Commissioners, pause the project, and solicit green alternatives to a gas-powered plant.”