The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power?s renewables portfolio policy?and any needed electricity surcharge to carry it out?cleared a key committee this week in the Los Angeles City Council. It will next be taken up by the full council under a new mayor. The policy, approved by the department?s board of commissioners last month (<i>Circuit</i>, May 27 , 2005), will require a 20 percent renewables portfolio by 2017. Any related surcharges would begin July 1, 2007. Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa wants the department to accelerate its renewables portfolio to 20 percent by 2010. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council?s Commerce, Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the policy and potential surcharge but delayed consideration of a motion by council member Bernard Parks to limit the cost of renewable energy. Under Parks?s motion, the department would need full city council approval to purchase renewable energy from any third party that costs more than 7 cents/kWh. The committee will consider Parks?s motion at its next meeting, to be set for sometime early next month, according to Adam Lid, committee clerk. ?Every effort should be made to ensure that the city?s efforts to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels does not come at the expense of its low-, moderate-, and fixed-income customers,? Parks said. Around the same time, department staff expect to propose entering three renewable power contracts, said Henry Martinez, department chief operating officer for power. The contracts result from 40 offers submitted to the department in response to its request for proposals last year. Many of the proposals the department received are for projects that are only on the drawing boards, lacking permits, financing, and transmission, according to Martinez. Initially, he said, the department will focus on ?the low-hanging fruit.?