Using Renewable Energy Sources
On the Mesa Facing North
Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith and Deputy Utility Manager Rafael De La Torre in the new DPU-NEDO Photovoltaic Array. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com
By Greg Kendall
This morning while purusing twitter news feeds, I noticed the following snippet of news from the Albuquerque Journal:
"PNM was widely criticized last year when it told the PRC it could not comply with the state’s renewable portfolio standard for 2012, which requires public utilities to derive at least 10 percent of their electricity this year from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. That mandate increases to 15 percent in 2015, and 20 percent in 2020."
The story got me thinking. What about our own Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities. What is the local plan for renewable sources leading up to 2020?
I got the answer promptly from Julie Williams-Hill, the Los Alamos DPU Public Relations Manager:
"One of the great things about being a publically-owned utility (owned by the County and accountable to its customers) as opposed to an investor-owned utility, is that we are not under the PRC. Our jurisdictional body is the Board of Public Utilities, comprised of customers who live in Los Alamos and are appointed by the County Council to serve and make decisions. Having said that … our Board and Council have directed us to try and be carbon-neutral. Without any state mandate, we are currently at approximately 20-28 percent renewable energy with our hydroelectric plants and our federal hydropower entitlement (it fluctuates from year to year because of the amount water released from the dams.) When we add the PV (2 Megawatt DPU-NEDO Photovoltaic Grid at the former Los Alamos County Landfill) that will help just a little bit more, and we will continue to look for more opportunities."
It's nice to know that the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is well ahead of the 2020 state renewable porfolio standard.
Editor's Note: You can read more about the DPU-NEDO Smart Grid Demonstration Collaboration on the Los Alamo Daily Post Focus page.