Demand Reduction Works

GWP wants to spend $500 million on a new expanded methane power plant that will pollute our air and drain our pocketbooks for the next thirty years. They say they need this much larger plant so they can provide power for the peak summertime demand on the hottest  of the hot days of the year. The rest of the year, if they aren’t using it to sell power to other utilities, it will be practically shut down as we have power purchase agreements to import power to cover winter demand.

There is a better way! Reduce peak demand. That way we lower the highest energy demand and don’t need to design a solution for extreme spikes in power consumption that only happens on a few days of the year.

As the old saying goes, the cheapest power plant is the one you don’t have to build because you reduced demand.

Here is the power usage of a home with solar panels (blue) compared to a normal house (black) and an “efficient” house (green).  See how the house’s demand drops to zero all through the summer? That is peak load reduction in operation.

Power demand for solar powered homes drops to zero in the summer
Demand from the grid for this house drops to zero on the hotest days of the year – that’s when solar is producing the most.

Plus, that house has a plug-in hybrid car, electric hot water, electric oven, electric heating, and inefficient air conditioning! All for $7000 out-of-pocket for solar panels from a Glendale solar installer. The system pays for itself in 5 years from reduced electric bills and it’ll keep powering for 20 years.

Now imagine if half the homes in Glendale had solar panels installed. GWP wouldn’t need to build a $500 million dollar 250MW plant. They could probably get by with the one functional unit (unit 9), landfill gas power, and their existing power contracts. But why stop at half? We can put solar on all the buildings in Glendale and we’ll become a clean energy supplier to LADWP – charging them for our clean energy!

Plus think of all the money that would go into the local economy when people don’t have electric bills to pay anymore.

Google’s Project Sunroof estimates that there is over 450MW of solar potential on Glendale roofs (and they’ve already accounted for trees, roof angles, mountains, etc).

This really is an option.

Unfortunately, Glendale hired as consultants two companies that will make millions on the the construction of a methane plant. They we’re supposed to “help” us figure out how to replace Grayson.  Sure enough, they recommended the path that will give them the most money and saddle Glendale with debt and pollution for 30 years. We need to hire independent renewable energy experts who don’t stand to make money on the outcome. The council needs independent advice.