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Los Angeles buys small hydro capacity from B.C.'s Powerex

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has agreed to purchase from Powerex Corp. 50 MW of renewable energy generated from small hydroelectric plants in the Pacific Northwest.

LADWP's Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved a resolution Nov. 7 authorizing the power purchase agreement with Powerex, a subsidiary of British Columbia utility BC Hydro. The Canadian power marketer had submitted the proposal in response to LADWP's 2004 request for renewables.

The agreement provides for the purchase of 438,000 megawatt-hours annually from unnamed small hydro plants in British Columbia and Alberta in Canada and Washington and Oregon in the U.S. Expenditures are not to exceed $196 million over the five-year term of the agreement.

LADWP said the deal would move the city 2 percent closer to its goal of obtaining 20 percent of its retail energy from renewable sources by 2010. The City Council still must approve the agreement, which LADWP said would cost the utility about $75 per MWh, or less than $39 million a year in fiscal years 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.

During the first year, LADWP will buy energy from several small hydroelectric projects. In subsequent years, LADWP could receive various types of energy from Powerex, including small hydro, biomass, landfill gas, and wind.

Powerex will deliver the energy to the Nevada-Oregon border. From there, LADWP will ship the energy to Los Angeles via the Pacific DC Intertie, a transmission line that originates in Oregon.

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