BWP's Environmental Commitment
In June 2007, the Burbank City Council approved BWP's recommendation for a Renewable Portfolio Standard of 33% by 2020. The Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS, is a document that formally states our goal in procuring electricity from renewable resources. As you may know, electricity can be produced from a number of fuels, including coal, natural gas, splitting atoms, water, wind and the sun. Some fuels are environmentally preferred because they are naturally renewable (e.g., the sun), use an energy source that would otherwise be unused (e.g., wind), or use waste material that is continuously generated (e.g., landfill gasses). These renewable energy resources, often referred to as "green energy", include electricity produced by smaller hydroelectricity plants, wind, geothermal heat, the sun's energy, landfill gases, and biomass.
If you would like to review BWP's Integrated Resource Plan for energy, a document that outlines how Burbank Water and Power plans to meet the electrical needs of our city well into the future, please click here.
Achieving Burbank's 33% RPS by 2020
BWP has been actively involved with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) in efforts to secure the renewable energy needed in Burbank. As of Fiscal Year 2011-2012, about 9% of all energy used by Burbank homes and businesses will come from renewable energy sources. We are well on our way to meeting or exceeding the 33% goal by 2020.
The following are BWP's major sources of renewable energy.
WYOMING WIND: In 2006, BWP signed a sixteen-year power purchase contract with PPM Energy, Inc. to provide five megawatts (MW) of wind power from a generation facility located in Southwest Wyoming. BWP began receiving wind power from the facility in July 2006. The energy from this project is expected to provide approximately 1% of BWP's energy needs.
AMERESCO: In 2004, BWP originally signed an agreement with SCPPA to acquire power under a twenty-year contract with SCPPA from the purchase of one-sixth the output of the 13 MW Ameresco Landfill Project located west of Santa Clarita, California. In 2006, we were notified by the developer that they could not complete the project as originally envisioned. In response, Burbank renegotiated the contract increasing the price offered to the developer in order to make the project feasible. The developer received South Coast Air Quality Management District approval permitting for the project in June 2007. With that milestone achieved, the developer's current plans are to have the project completed and placed into service by June 2010. It is expected to supply approximately 1% of BWP's energy requirements.
For our next phase of additions to BWP's renewable energy portfolio, BWP continues to look at adding wind, solar and geothermal resources. BWP is working with other SCPPA participants in the development of geothermal energy from the Imperial Valley and elsewhere. BWP is ultimately interested in acquiring 25 – 35 MW of geothermal based resources over the next decade, or about 16% to 22% of BWP's total energy requirements.
Another important BWP goal is to help our residential and business customers reduce their need for electricity. Reducing demand for electricity has a fourfold reward - our community reaps environmental benefits, BWP avoids operating higher cost generation resources, less carbon dioxide from power plants means less global warming, and Burbank residents and businesses save money. While we reliably offer electricity and water at the levels demanded by our customers, we actively encourage the best use of water and electricity by our City. We do this by offering a variety of effective energy-efficiency and conservation programs.
On this website, you can find information on all our programs. Did you know that you can receive free shade trees to help reduce your home or business air conditioning use? Or that BWP offers cash rebates to customers who install energy-efficient equipment in their homes and businesses? Burbank residents can also use our Home Improvement Program and receive an in-home energy and water audit, and installations of energy-saving and water-saving items, all for free! Our Air Conditioning Tune-Up program and Refrigerator Round-Up are other examples of incentives to help reduce energy waste and promote efficiency. We're proud of our programs and very much encourage you to take advantage of them!
Please, let us hear from you!
BWP is committed to exceptional service to our customers and environment. If you have any energy- or water-saving program suggestions, we would be thrilled to hear from you! Simply email your comments to jmeyer@ci.Burbank.ca.us .