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Green power from Mexico

February 3, 2009 |  3:00 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa celebrated a milestone at the Department of Water and Power today, signing an agreement that allows the DWP to purchase geothermal power from Mexico’s power agency, the Comisión Federal de Electricidad.

Technically, the deal went into effect weeks ago, with the city’s utility buying 25 megawatts of around-the-clock geothermal power in December and 50 megawatts in January. The power originates at the Cerro Prieto geothermal facility in Mexicali, Baja California.

The deal has helped the DWP push past the halfway mark in meeting Villaraigosa’s goal of having 20% of the DWP’s power come from renewable sources by 2010. In October, 10.6% of the DWP’s electricity came from wind, solar and other renewable sources, according to the utility.

Standing in front of DWP headquarters, the mayor said he remained optimistic that he could reach his renewables goal, which is designed to help the utility reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. But that will only happen if the deadline is at the end of 2010, not the beginning, he said.

— David Zahniser