Following an agreement to receive wind power from a landmark renewable energy project in New Mexico, Los Angeles is on track to receive more than 60% of its power from carbon-free sources in 2022, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.
Garcetti announced the milestone at the grand opening of the New Mexico Western Spirit Wind Farm Complex, which will provide enough wind energy to power about 222,300 Los Angeles homes through its newly completed Red Cloud Wind project, officials said. The agreement boosts the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s clean energy portfolio by 6%.
“If we’re going to make this decade one of exponential climate action, we need more than just bold goals and lofty long-term promises — we need real solutions and results today,” Garcetti said. “Bringing this state-of-the-art facility online makes it our largest wind project to date — providing clean energy for hundreds of thousands of Angelenos and bringing us one major step closer to becoming a city powered without fossil fuels.”
The New Mexico complex is the largest renewable energy project in U.S. history, according to Garcetti’s office. Its Red Cloud Wind project, which began commercial operation in December, generates up to 350 megawatts of wind power each day. Garcetti’s office said this saves 464,050 metric tons of carbon emissions each year, which is equal to removing about 100,000 gas-fueled vehicles from the road each year.
“The Red Cloud Wind Project is providing renewable wind power from New Mexico to Los Angeles, traveling along the same transmission line that once carried energy from a closed coal power plant. With this addition, LADWP is now securing more than 60% of its power supply from carbon-free energy resources,” said Cynthia McClain-Hill, president of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners.
“Innovative and ambitious projects like this one, along with local clean energy programs for all of our customers, are what will keep LA on track to not only achieve our renewable energy goals, but to do so equitably,” she added.
Los Angeles aims to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2035, a goal adopted by the city on Sept. 1, 2021.
Prior to adopting the goal, the city commissioned a study released on March 24 that found that the LADWP can reach the city’s goal by 2045 or sooner if it rapidly deploys wind and solar power, electrical storage and other technologies.
The study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with the LADWP and USC, was touted as one of the largest studies of its kind conducted by the federal government.
“With the combination of ideal wind conditions and the latest high- efficiency wind turbines, Red Cloud shows that the city of Los Angeles can achieve our clean energy goals while keeping rates affordable and power reliable,” LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams said Wednesday.