Municipal Utilities Generating More Power from Renewable Sources

Many of California’s 46 publicly owned utilities, ranging from the mammoth Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to the City of Healdsburg have met the state’s goal of generating 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.

Some have already exceeded the state’s 2020 goal of 33 percent, according to statistics from the state Energy Commission.

Others have a ways to go. Anaheim, with 2010 total electicity sales of 2.4 million generated 10.8 percent form renewables. 

Public owned utilities provide roughly 25 percent of California’s electricity, which in 2010 totaled more than 290,000. One gigawatt is 1,000 megawatts.

According to the Energy Commission a little less than 15 percent of the California’s 2010 in-state generated electricity comes from renewables. Of that, 6 percent comes from geothermal energy, 3 percent from wind and 0.4 percent from solar. 

Using their own criteria for what constitutes a renewable source – wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric – 29 of the state’s municipal utilities have sales of electricity generated from renewables exceeding 20 percent.

The Hercules Municipal Utility and the Trinity Public Utilities District, which have combined sales of 165,467 megawatts, have 100 percent of their power generated by renewable sources.

The far larger Sacramento Municipal Utility District, with 10.3 million megawatts in sales in 2010, told the commission about 21 percent of its power came from renewables last year, up from 26.5 percent in 2008.

California’s biggest public utility, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, jumped from 13.6 percent of its sales coming from renewable sources in 2008 to 20 percent in 2010 on sales of nearly 23 million megawatts.

The energy commission, whose standards don’t count all types of renewable sources – like hydroelectric for instance – credits Los Angeles with only 17.6 percent of its power in 2010 coming from non-traditional sources.



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