LADWP continues a major transition of its water and power supplies while working to maintain and improve reliability. Working together with the Mayor and City Council, LADWP is creating a clean energy future for Los Angeles and planning for a sustainable water future — one that addresses drought conditions by reducing reliance on expensive imported purchased water and increasing the local water supply as well as conservation. We also have worked to find major cost savings and initiated independent benchmarking studies to find more cost efficiencies and improve accountability and transparency.
We are proud of this long list of recent accomplishments in power, water and cost reductions. Here is how we've been Putting Customers First:
COST SAVINGS & BENCHMARKING
From February 2011 to June 2014, LADWP implemented a multi-million dollar cost reduction plan to achieve a quick and measurable impact on LADWP’s expenses, and to help keep rates reasonable in light of industry-wide operational, regulatory and financial challenges.
As of June 2014, LADWP had saved an estimated $467 million over three years in reduced labor costs, refinancing, and other spending cuts. This amount exceeded the target by $8 million.
Additional cost savings going forward:
- The most significant cost savings will come from new labor contracts, which will save $456 million over four years (ending in October 2016). This will represent savings of $5 billion over 30 years.
- Lower cost financing for water and power projects will save approximately $267 million.
- Corporate Performance Unit benchmarking and performance metrics will ensure cost efficiency and accountability.
Under the direction of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council, LADWP completed the initial phase of a 3-phase benchmarking study in March 2015 to find efficiencies that will improve operations and save our customers money. To promote transparency and ensure the Department is focused on the most pressing needs of its customers, Mayor Garcetti had directed the Department to conduct an independent evaluation of its operations and costs, including water and power reliability, operating costs, and customer service.
The independent analysis, performed by PA Consulting and Strategy, was based on a wide range of performance metrics. LADWP scores in the first and second quartiles on reliability, is in the first quartile on operating costs, and offers among the lowest rates compared with its peers. The study finds a need for customer service investment, reinforcing our work to hire 190 customer service representatives since April 2014 to drive call hold times down to under 5 minutes. Subsequent studies will drill down into areas that show areas needing improvement and further analysis.
View the Benchmarking Phase I Study Presentation.
WATER SYSTEM ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Urban Water Management Plan
LADWP’s 5-year Urban Water Management Plan provides a framework for developing a sustainable water future. The plan analyzes the water supply resources and demand through 2035 with the goal of meeting new demand for water through conservation and local resource development. To meet this goal, the long-term water supply plan focuses on:
- Expanding water conservation
- Expanding water recycling
- Enhancing stormwater capture
- Cleaning up the San Fernando groundwater basin
- Expanding water transfers
With the projected significant increases in local water supplies, Los Angeles will be able to cut Metropolitan Water District (MWD) purchases of imported water in half by 2035.
Go to www.ladwp.com to learn more about the city’s water supply.
Water System Infrastructure
LADWP maintains a vast array of infrastructure that is critical for reliably delivering high-quality water to Angelenos. LADWP's leak rate and total water loss are better than the industry average nationwide. But with a significant amount of pipe installed at the turn of the century, LADWP is working to increase the pace of replacing aging and vulnerable water mains and riveted-steel trunk lines.
Earthquake Resistant Pipe Pilot Project
LADWP has embarked on a pilot project to install approximately 6,500 feet of high-tech Earthquake Resistant Ductile Iron Pipe (ERDIP) on streets surrounding the Northridge Hospital Medical Facility. The ERDIP installation is part of an LADWP pilot project and only the third ERDIP project in the United States.
The pipe’s innovative, segmented design provides increased flexibility to deal with the strains associated with earthquakes, landslides, and temperature changes. Forces exceeding one percent of the pipe length activate a locking mechanism that keeps pipe joints from pulling apart.
The water distribution mains in the area around Northridge Hospital were already targeted for replacement. But the ERDIP project will greatly benefit the medical center and the surrounding neighborhood by providing a more reliable network for clean drinking water and firefighting capability in the event of another major earthquake.
One pilot project was completed in 2013 on Contour Drive in Sherman Oaks. Three additional pilot sites will break ground later in 2015 in three different Water System maintenance districts, Harbor, Central, and Western.
Water Quality and Safety
Ensuring the city’s water quality meets the highest Federal and State standards is paramount to LADWP’s water operations.
LADWP is investing in major infrastructure projects to meet drinking water regulations, such as the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) and the Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection By-Products Rule (DBP2). LADWP’s major efforts to comply with these regulations include addressing its three remaining open reservoirs, changing the city’s water supply disinfection system from ozone to UV treatment, and changing the distribution system disinfectant from chlorine to chloramine. Failure to comply with these drinking water requirements is not an option for LADWP.
Go to www.ladwp.com/waterquality to learn more about water quality projects and issues.
Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant
In May 2014, LADWP commissioned the Dr. Pankaj Parekh Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility that treats 600 million gallons of water per day - enough water to fill the Rose Bowl 8 times daily. The UV facility is the largest such treatment facility west of the Mississippi and the second largest in the United States.
UV purification has been identified as one of the most effective methods of drinking water treatment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The facility is named for the late Dr. Parekh, former LADWP Water Quality Director, who helped initiate the UV Disinfection Facility, and is credited with championing the superiority of this disinfection method over others.
In May 2014, LADWP expanded the use of chloramine disinfection to most of our water distribution system to comply with the new DBP Rule. Chloramine is formed by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Both chlorine and chloramine are approved disinfectants for use in drinking water by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Health. Due to the size and complexity of our system, the expansion was conducted in phases. Areas with the highest disinfection byproduct (DBP) levels were converted first. The last phase will be completed in 2017 with the conversion of the Green Meadows and Watts areas. These areas historically have lower DBP levels.
The advantages to the chloramine expansion include:
- Compatibility with purchased water from MWD,
- Improving system reliability,
- Providing water free of a chlorine taste or smell,
- Lower DBP formation,
- Longer lasting protection as the water moves through the pipes to your tap, because chloramine is more stable than chlorine.
Stormwater Capture Master Plan
In partnership with other governmental and non-governmental agencies, LADWP has completed several major stormwater enhancement projects while others are underway.
Go to www.ladwp.com/stormwater to learn more about the Stormwater Capture Master Plan.
A few of the major projects include:
Big Tujunga Dam
LADWP provided $9 million to the Los Angeles Flood Control District (District) in September 2007 to seismically retrofit the existing dam and upgrade its spillway. Completed in 2012, the project is expected to increase stormwater capture by 4,000 AFY.
Hansen Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project
LADWP provided $4.2 million to the District to reconstruct the basins to increase the capacity and efficiency of the spreading grounds. Improvements to the intake structure were completed in January 2013, and are expected to increase average stormwater capture by 2,000 AFY.
Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project
A two-year construction project is expected to begin in 2015 to enhance the Tujunga Spreading Grounds, which is owned by LADWP and operated by the District. The enhancements will include relocating and automating the current intake structure on Tujunga Wash, installing a second automated intake to receive flows from the adjacent Pacoima Wash, and reconfiguring the existing spreading basins, among other upgrades. LADWP will provide $27 million to the District for construction. Once completed, the project is expected to increase stormwater capture by 8,000 AFY.
Owens Valley Dust Mitigation & Environmental Commitments
Since 2001, LADWP has devoted immense financial and water resources to meet its obligations to control dust emissions at the dry Owens Lake related to its water diversions. LADWP customers have funded the largest dust control project in American history, covering more than 42 square miles of the lakebed with water, vegetation or gravel. The project has required massive construction, operation and maintenance efforts by LADWP - as well as over 80,000 acre-feet in 2013 alone - at a total cost of more than $1.2 billion. This has resulted in substantial and enduring environmental progress, leading to an enormous reduction in dust emissions from Owens Lake and a historic reduction in air pollution in the Owens Valley.
In collaboration with Owens Lake stakeholders, LADWP has been working to develop a win-win project that would continue to protect the air quality and environment of a designated area surrounding Owens Lake (the Owens Valley Planning Area) as well as preserve the quality of wildlife habitat at Owens Lake while conserving water. The Owens Lake Master Project has advanced with recommendations from stakeholder groups, including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Inyo County, local tribes, and many local organizations and environmental advocacy groups.
Owens Lake Master Project
LADWP is developing the project description in line with the stakeholder recommendations. An environmental review process is expected to be underway by June 2015 with the goal of implementing the project in late 2016.
Owens Lake Agreement
In November 2014, LADWP and the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) reached an historic agreement over the implementation of dust control measures on Owens Lake. The agreement allows LADWP to use waterless dust control methods, including tillage, at Owens Lake, resulting in significant water and monetary savings for Los Angeles while maintaining existing wildlife habitat. The agreement also provides Los Angeles with the certainty of knowing the full extent of its liability for dust mitigation at Owens Lake. Great Basin will also maintain its full regulatory authority with the assurance that LADWP will continue to meet its obligations to control dust on Owens Lake.
Most importantly, the agreement established for the first time an upper limit of 53.4 square miles that LADWP could be ordered to mitigate dust emissions from the Owens Lake bed by Great Basin. Without the agreement, LADWP could have been responsible for mitigating dust emissions from up to 88 square miles of Owens Lake playa.
As a result, LADWP expects to save about 8,600 acre feet, nearly 3 billion gallons, of water in 2015 – enough water to serve 43,000 people. Thanks to finding common ground, LADWP and Great Basin have forged the path to even more significant water savings in the future.
LADWP has determined the path forward for bringing the three remaining open-air drinking water reservoirs into compliance with state and federal drinking water regulations. Headworks East is now online to help replace storage at Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs; construction is in progress on Headworks West. Elysian and Upper Stone reservoirs will remain in service and receive floating covers. Los Angeles Reservoir will also remain in service with the new ultraviolet (UV) treatment plant to disinfect water leaving the reservoir, and more than 90 million shade balls to assist in controlling disinfection byproducts and algae.
Upper Stone Canyon and Elysian Reservoir Projects
In January 2012, the Board approved the Final Environmental Impact Report for a floating cover on Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir and followed with a similar action in April 2012 for the Elysian Reservoir. After much deliberation, the Board approved the most practical and cost-effective solutions for each reservoir— floating covers which will save the Department over $100 million. Final design for Upper Stone Canyon is anticipated to be completed by March 2016, with complete design for Elysian expected by early 2015.
Los Angeles Reservoir Project
Another ultraviolet treatment facility is currently in development to disinfect water leaving the LA Reservoir and satisfy the LT2 water quality regulation. In addition, LADWP has completed deployment of 96 million shade balls on LA Reservoir to help meet the bromate drinking water standard and control algae in the reservoir.
Ivanhoe and Silver Lake Reservoirs
The Water System completed Headworks East, which is Phase 1 of the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex-Storage Replacement Project. Headworks East came online in November 2014. Plans for Headworks West continue to progress with a target construction date in mid-2015 and completion by December 2017. The Headworks Reservoir Complex, including East and West, will completely replace Ivanhoe Reservoir’s storage capacity.
POWER SYSTEM ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Power Supply Transformation
Over the next 15 years, LADWP will replace over 70% of its existing power supply as well as rebuild and modernize much of its aging power grid infrastructure used to reliably deliver power to its customers. LA’s clean energy future – a future with more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on renewable energy, and zero coal – is being built right now through a complete transformation of LADWP’s power supply.
To transition to a clean energy future, LADWP is making unprecedented investments in:
- Coal Transition
- Energy Efficiency
- Renewable Energy
- Rebuilding Local Power Plants
- Power Reliability
All of these elements are essential to replacing coal power and creating a clean energy future for LA. Go to www.ladwp.com/powerIRP to learn more about our Integrated Resource Plan.
Coal Transition Progress
In a major milestone toward creating a clean energy future for Los Angeles, LADWP has reached an agreement for the sale of its 21% share in the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) outside of Page, Arizona. Under the agreement, LADWP will stop receiving coal power from Navajo by June 2016, 3 1/2 years ahead of the mandated deadline.
In collaboration with participating power utilities, LADWP is also working to convert the coal-fired Intermountain Power Project (IPP) in Utah to a smaller efficient natural gas generating station by 2025, with efforts to begin that transition by 2020. Reducing the size of IPP will also free up transmission capacity to bring more renewable energy into Los Angeles.
Through these actions, the City of Los Angeles has become the first major city in the United States to commit to becoming coal free.
Road to Renewables
LADWP achieved 20% renewable energy delivered to customers in 2010. In 2013, our renewable portfolio grew to 23% of total power supply. We are on track to meet 25% by 2016 and 33% by 2020.
Don A. Campbell 2 Geothermal Power Plant
Under an agreement approved in March 2015, LADWP will receive the full output of 16.2 MW of renewable geothermal power from the expanded Don A. Campbell Geothermal Power Plant in Mineral County, Nevada. The 20-year power purchase agreement for renewable geothermal power that will provide enough clean energy to serve 22,500 Los Angeles homes and avoid producing 75,700 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, which is roughly equivalent to removing 30,900 cars off the road.
Milford II Wind Project
The Milford II Wind Project began delivering renewable energy to the LADWP in May 2011. This 102 MW project is a key part of LADWP’s ramp-up to 33% renewable energy by 2020. Located in Milford, Utah, the wind farm is adjacent to the previously developed 200 MW Milford I Project that provides renewable energy to LADWP. The energy is delivered through the IPP switchyard and delivered to Los Angeles via the recently upgraded Southern Transmission System.
Adelanto Solar Power Project
In July 2012, Los Angeles began receiving 10 MW of renewable energy from the Adelanto Solar Power Project. Located at the Adelanto Switching Station near Victorville, California, the solar array was LADWP’s first utility-scale solar power plant built by its own employees and the nation’s largest solar installation built and owned by a municipal utility.
Pine Tree Solar Power Project
LADWP’s second utility-scale solar array—the 8.5 MW Pine Tree Solar Project, began generating power on March 15, 2013. The solar plant is located at LADWP’s Pine Tree Wind Farm in the Tehachapi Mountains.
Rebuilding Local Power Plants
LADWP is eliminating the use of ocean water for cooling at its three coastal power plants – Scattergood, Haynes and Harbor Generating Stations – by 2029. This requires major capital projects, costing about $2.2 billion, employing complex engineering and design, and building in tight quarters without disrupting neighbors.
The re-powering projects are especially challenging because they require concise timing in their planning and execution. No one generating unit can be removed from service before its replacement is online. As LADWP weans itself off of coal power, these in-basin generating units become even more critical in maintaining power reliability.
Haynes Generating Station
In the first project to eliminate ocean cooling at nine generating units at three coastal power plants, LADWP completed construction of six 100 MW generators at the Haynes Generating Station in Long Beach and removed them from ocean cooling. While meeting OTC requirements, LADWP replaced the aging generating units at Haynes to improve operational flexibility by using state-of-the-art, highly efficient quick-start turbines, similar to those of a jet engine. The use of these turbines, which can ramp up to full power within 10 minutes, will improve integration of renewable energy as LADWP brings more wind and solar power online. The Haynes Repowering Project, which created approximately 350 construction jobs, began commercial operation in June 2013.
Scattergood Generating Station
While Haynes was under construction, LADWP laid the groundwork for replacing Scattergood Unit 3 and its capacity with modern high-efficiency power generating units that will not use ocean water for cooling. The project broke ground in June 2013 and completion is expected by the end of 2015. Along with eliminating OTC, the Scattergood Unit 3 project will also increase generation reliability and efficiency, and reduce NOx emissions.
Local Solar Programs
A key element of LADWP’s renewable energy program is the development of local solar, particularly customer-based programs that tap into the city’s abundant sunshine. Local solar projects help to meet LADWP’s renewable energy targets and reduce the carbon footprint created by fossil fuel burning power plants. Solar is also expected to be a vital catalyst for creating jobs and stimulating the “green” economy in Los Angeles.
As of December 31, 2014, LADWP has paid approximately $255 million to customers in solar incentives. This amount includes $55 million provided prior to implementing the SB1 required program, and $200 million under SB1. There are over 15,000 customer-installed solar systems connected to the grid. This represents 125 MW of solar capacity and generates 206,000 megawatt-hour (MWh) per year.
Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Under the final regulations for the greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program, LADWP receives allowances based on projected greenhouse gas emission reductions. This allows revenues generated through customer rates to be invested into renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that meet the RPS and energy efficiency goals.
Progress in GHG Emissions Reduction
LADWP has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to 23% below its 1990 level. This level, which exceeds the 2020 Kyoto Protocol target is due to the shutdown of the Mohave Coal Power Plant in 2005, ongoing repowering programs that began in the 1990s and increased development of renewable resources.
LADWP’s greenhouse gas emissions will decline dramatically as it progresses with plans to eliminate coal power, increase renewable energy and energy efficiency, and rebuild local power plants to be more efficient. Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be 55% below the 1990 level by 2025—the equivalent of removing 2.1 million cars from the highway.
While a significant amount of work has been accomplished on LA’s generating facilities, the power distribution infrastructure, such as poles and underground cables, remains a major focus, since this equipment is aging rapidly and requires increased investments going forward.
The majority of LADWP’s power poles were installed during the city’s rapid growth – 1940s through 1960s. For example, if LADWP were to replace 5,000 poles a year, it would take over 25 years to replace all of the poles that are 60-plus years old (the average expected pole lifespan). During that time another 110,000 poles will become 60-plus years old, which would take another 22 years to replace.
Power System Reliability Plan
To address the problem of aging infrastructure, LADWP has:
- Expanded the focus to encompass all major functions of the Power System, including generation, transmission, substation, and distribution
- Assisted in cost effectively prioritizing reliability expenditures
- Accelerated the replacement of aging Power System equipment
- Initiated a process to use contractors to assist in replacing its aging poles and cables
View the Power Infrastructure Plan to learn more.
Charge Up LA! Rebate Program
To encourage Angelenos to buy or lease an electric vehicle, LADWP introduced a two-year Charge Up LA! EV Home Charger Rebate Program in April 2011. The program provided rebates of up to $2,000 to customers for home chargers and installation costs. As of December 2014, the Department paid over $2 million in EV home charger rebates for 1,300 chargers under the program.
After the initial program ended in June 2013, LADWP developed a new charger rebate program that was approved by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners in July 2013. The new program, Charge-Up LA! - Home, Work and On The Go, expands rebates for charging infrastructure for commercial and residential customer sectors.
Public Charging Stations
LADWP has worked with customers to upgrade 249 older chargers located on City of Los Angeles property and at private, publicly accessible locations. LADWP has also installed 11 DC fast chargers at publicly accessible locations. LADWP has also received grant funds to upgrade an additional 115 chargers, and install 104 new chargers, all at publicly accessible locations.
New EV chargers have also been installed at the LA Convention Center and LAX, among other public locations. Electrical infrastructure upgrades are also underway to reduce both the frequency and duration of power outages, and to support the increased power demand necessary for EV charging.
Go to www.ladwp.com to learn more.