The head of Citizens Energy, former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, joined city leaders at a news conference in North Hollywood to announce the project. Green Path will protect Southern Californians from the types of problems encountered during the energy crisis, he said. “We will not only address the important issues of reliability, redundancy and transmission bottlenecks but also produce benefits to serve low-income households,” Kennedy said. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, called the project a “critical link in the statewide transmission system.” Speaking at a Board of Water and Power Commissioners workshop on renewable energy last week, White strongly criticized the DWP for being historically slow to adopt green power. He warned that unless it fundamentally changed the way it did business it would not meet the 20 percent goal in time. White said that Green Path represents just that sort of change. He attributed the progress to new city leadership and to factors like high natural gas prices making renewable energy more attractive. “The economic rationale is now more obvious,” he said. The 12 percent of the city’s power needs that Green Path may provide comes on top of about 3 percent of the existing portfolio that is considered green. The DWP commissioners approved key components Tuesday of a wind energy project that would add an additional 1.5 percent. White urged the city to take the opportunity to divest from some of its older, pollution-generating power sources. The DWP will discuss the matter, Deaton said, adding that he would like to see the utility become less reliant on natural gas in particular. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “This project very quickly gets at all those issues,” he said. The utility has money for part of the project in its budget for capital projects, Deaton said. While revenue from power rates would also pay for Green Path, he said rates would not go up as a direct result of the project. Van Nuys-area Councilman Tony Cardenas, who chairs the council committee that oversees the DWP, said any power rate hike is likely three or four years away. Meanwhile, through an agreement with a third partner in the deal – the nonprofit Citizens Energy – low-income ratepayers would receive assistance such as rebates. “Not only is Los Angeles going to be greener, there’s going to be more green in the pockets of low-income families,” Cardenas said. A $300 million venture designed to draw geothermal energy from the Salton Sea should account for 12 percent of Los Angeles’ power needs, officials said Wednesday, bringing the city significantly closer to the goal of having 20 percent green power by 2010. The Department of Water and Power announced it will commit $240 million to the Green Path project, which will build and upgrade transmission lines throughout Southern California to give populated areas access to power from pockets of heat deep beneath the Imperial Valley. “With this project we’re taking a major step forward in our effort to shift away from the outdated fossil fuels of the past,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. The project, which was initiated by the Imperial Irrigation District, comes amid a shortage of new power generation in California and congestion on existing transmission lines, said DWP General Manager Ron Deaton.