The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power should issue a new request for proposals to implement Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's pledge to increase the percentage of renewables in the city's electricity mix by 2010, Ron Deaton, LADWP general manager, told the muni's board December 13. The new board is striving to advance the 20 percent renewable supply goal to 2010 from 2017 but faces considerable obstacles. They range from siting difficulties to lack of firm agreements and potentially volatile prices. One new biomass-to-electricity project in its territory that may not come to fruition is the BioConverter. The 40 MW project calls for a 40-acre site within the crowded city of Los Angeles, explained department officials. The developer has had a hard time finding the land where 3,000 tons of green waste a day would be processed. On top of that, the potential project faces neighborhood opposition because of the steady stream of trucks and industrial equipment that would carry the mass of material. LADWP is moving ahead with 120 MW of wind energy from the Pine Tree Project and 11 MW of rooftop solar partly funded by department incentives. This would bring the city's total rooftop solar capacity to 20 MW. The department is in discussions on seven other renewables projects totaling 395 MW, said Henry Martinez, LADWP chief operating officer for power. However, he does not expect to conclude those talks until next year. Those projects could supply about 6.9 percent of the department's needs by 2008 but also raise concerns. "Many of the projects we've seen are pegged to natural gas prices," which are volatile, said Martinez. He said that the department would prefer power-purchase deals with stable prices or acquiring projects and generating power at cost. LADWP maintains that it can achieve the 20 percent renewables goal at a cost of little more than 0.4 cent\/kWh, which would raise its average residential bill by about 5 percent. The projection assumes that renewable power will cost an average of 7 cents\/kWh, with transmission adding a penny per kilowatt-hour. The department is also examining how to reduce its power needs through advanced demand-side-management measures, according to Martinez. A plan that could cut power requirements by 6 percent by 2015 is expected early next year. It will be included in the department's 2006 Integrated Resource Plan and aimed at reducing the amount of potentially expensive renewable power.