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LADWP unveils $48M solar power plant in Adelanto

July 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
If there's one thing the high desert community of Adelanto has, it's plenty of sunshine. On Monday, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power marked the completion of its $48 million Adelanto Solar Power Project by flipping a ceremonial switch.

The solar plant, built on land the DWP owns just west of Victorville, is expected to generate enough power per year to run an estimated 3,300 L.A.-area homes and businesses.

"We've come in at a cost here that is about $5 a watt, and for those who have tracked the solar business, that's an incredible benefit from where it was just even two years ago," said Ron Nichols, the LADWP general manager.

Those savings may trickle down to DWP costumers.

The $48 million federally funded project is also being celebrated for coming in under budget and ahead of schedule by a month.

It took 100 years to build the current energy supply that now goes to L.A., but within the next 15 years LADWP says its hoping to transition 70 percent of its energy supply to renewable resources and natural gas.

"We will in the next 15 years or less get off all of our coal fire plants, beginning with our Navajo plant that we are going to be off by 2015," Nichols said.

LADWP employees are already off and running to the next solar project.

"Guys are on the ground and are already breaking ground at Pine Tree and they'll be up there another 8, 9 months, but they'll have another 10 megawatts on line," said Brian D'Arcy.