“A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is
self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.” — April 2, 2009 press release from the Port of LA announcing the DWP will give a “$3.5 million up-front cash incentive” — 40 percent — toward the cost of a 1 megawatt solar energy project.
Just days after voters rejected Measure B, the Mayor/DWP’s plan for 400 megawatts of in-basin rooftop solar, the port and the DWP cut a deal for the public to heavily subsidize a 1 MW rooftop solar energy project at the World Cruise Center.
It’s the first phase of a 10 MW, five-year project that, extrapolating the numbers, would cost $90 million with DWP ratepayers providing $35 million.
“We are harnessing our greatest resource to power our greatest economic
engine,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, according to the press release. ”This project
will create good, green-collar jobs and stimulate the growth of a new,
green economy powered by clean technology.
“The solar power initiative at the nation’s largest container port is
part of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Solar LA Program, the
largest solar power project undertaken by any single city in the
world. The Solar LA Project will ultimately create a 1.3 gigawatt
solar power network of residential, commercial and municipally-owned
solar systems that will lower Los Angeles’s dependence on greenhouse
gas emitting fossil fuels.”
That’s the language of Measure B. David Freeman, ex-GM of the DWP and leading spokesman for Measure B, is the head of the Harbor Commission who presumably engineered this deal.
It’s as if we never voted to reject Measure B.
The only saving grace is they contracted with a private firm, Cupertino
Electric of San Jose, Calif., for
this “first phase construction” — clear proof that the DWP, as
alleged, doesn’t have the capacity to actually install solar units.
the DWP does know how to do is raise our water and power rates over and
over and cut sweetheart deals even as the water and power systems decay.
DWP under David Nahai has no respect for the public, for the
people who pay the bills. He is unqualified to run a public utility.
This isn’t his business. It’s ours.
The utter contempt for
voters shown in this contract puts the City Council and the DWP
Commission on notice to disapprove the unjustified water rate increase
that comes back from the dead on Tuesday and fuels the argument that we
need a Ratepayer Advocated on the DWP Commission.
Nobody is more
qualified for that role than Soledad Garcia, president of the DWP
Committee for advocacy and the Neighborhood Council’s MOU Committee
with the DWP.