By Carol Tucker
On Thursday, April 1st, LADWP wrapped up the final meeting of the Los Angeles 100 Percent Renewable Energy Study (LA100) Advisory Group, concluding a multi-year process to identify viable pathways and potential investments that would be needed to provide 100 percent renewable energy while ensuring reliable power to our customers.
The study, led a team of renewable energy experts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), affirms that LADWP can achieve the City of Los Angeles’ aggressive goal – to be fully powered by 100 percent renewable energy – by 2045, and even by 2035 in the fastest scenario. At the same time, the study shows LADWP can reach 100 percent renewables while remaining true to the core principles of reliability, environmental stewardship, environmental justice, resiliency, and affordability.
“Our power system team worked hand-in-hand with NREL and the Advisory Group for nearly four years. LADWP now has the tools and roadmap to take the next steps to keep us on track to reach 100 percent renewables,” said General Manager and Chief Engineer Marty Adams. Adams praised staff for their commitment and dedication to the LA100 process, which kicked off in June 2017.
“This has been a model for how the Department can work collaboratively and effectively across many divisions, including Power System Clean Grid LA and Integrated Resource Planning divisions, finance, environmental services, governmental affairs, communications and public affairs, and many other groups whose involvement was critical to the project’s success,” Adams said.
Eric Montag, Senior Manager-Distribution and Engineering Support, was tapped to head up the LA100 study and Advisory Group process. Montag described LA100 as a very gratifying assignment and a career game-changer. “There was great satisfaction watching the growth of our staff as they worked on this complex study,” he said. “I’m very proud of all the LADWP staff that have been involved. In some ways, watching their professional growth is more gratifying than the study itself.”
Working under Montag and subsequently Jason Rondou, Director of LADWP’s Clean Grid LA Strategy Division, Ashkan Nassiri played a key part in coordinating with NREL, and worked closely with Communications and Public Affairs to coordinate meetings of the LA100 Advisory Group.
“I took on the role of project manager and contract administrator in early days,” recalled Nassiri, an Electrical Engineer. He started with only one staff member, Anton Sy, who later promoted to Mechanical Engineer in Power Regulatory Compliance and Specifications. “With Anton’s help, we ran the newly established project, defined the scope of contract with the input from many staff in the Power System, brought NREL on board to lead the study, and established the quarterly Advisory Group meetings, among many other responsibilities.”
“My great hope is that LA100 set the precedent for other utilities and different sectors in economy worldwide to evaluate how transitioning their respective sector to clean energy could help create a better and cleaner future for our planet,” Nassiri said. “I want to extend my sincere appreciation for the LA100 team: Scott Moon, Nicholas Matiasz, Steve Swift and previous members Anton Sy and Greg Sarvas. The LA100 success would have not been attainable without their support and dedication.”
He added that LA100 didn’t happen in silo. “One of the best parts of the study was the interaction with well over 50 LADWP subject matter experts from across the Department, along with working with the best and brightest researchers in the nation at NREL. I truly believe this experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”