LA Now Gets 60% of Its Energy From Carbon-Free Sources

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

LA Now Gets 60% of Its Energy From Carbon-Free Sources
Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

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Sixty percent: While not a great score on a science test, it’s a major milestone for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Mayor Eric Garcetti in their quest to decarbonize the city’s power supply.


With the completion of a new wind farm in New Mexico called the Red Cloud Wind Project, Los Angeles now receives more than 60% of its power from carbon-free sources, the city announced Wednesday. The project is one of four wind farms at New Mexico’s sprawling, 1,050-megawatt Western Spirit Wind complex, which the city described as the single largest renewable energy project in U.S. history.

Red Cloud, which commenced commercial operation in December, now produces 350 megawatts of wind power daily and provides enough clean energy to power more than 222,000 homes in Los Angeles, the city said. (It also saves more than 464,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually—equivalent to taking roughly 100,000 gas-fueled cars off the road, according to the LADWP.)

The addition of Red Cloud’s energy alone boosts the LADWP’s clean energy portfolio by 6%, pushing the department above the 60% threshold on carbon-free energy sources.

“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,” Garcetti said in a statement.

The benchmark is the latest hit by Los Angeles as part of Garcetti’s pledge to attain a 100% clean energy grid by 2035—10 years ahead of the original timeline outlined in the mayor’s Green New Deal plan in 2019. The city says it has more than doubled its share of electricity coming from renewable sources since 2013, exceeding state targets.

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