Gray skies over Glendale? Join us for April 10 rally to oppose power plant expanson

  • Posted on 30 March 2018
  • By From Chapter reports

Glendale Water and Power is proposing to spend $500 million to expand the aging and polluting Grayson Power Plant in the town of Glendale. At a time when the rest of California is moving towards 100% clean energy, the agency stands out for its backward looking energy proposal. 

Cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Lancasterand San Francisco are all moving to 100% clean energy. Even utilities like Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are hitting pause on future plans to build new polluting power plants.

Join us for a rally to stop the Grayson Expansion. Meet at 5:30 p.m. April 10 at Glendale City Hall. Immediately after the rally, activists are asking the Glendale City Council to vote to halt the Grayson Plant expansion and hire independent energy experts to review Glendale’s power needs. Contact Angelica Gonzalez at for details.

Here are some FAQs from the Stop Grayson Expansion website.

Won’t this expansion lower my utility bills?

No. In fact, they’ll likely go up. The LA Times recently reported that California utilities have a history of promoting new plants by promising lower utility bills only to have utility costs increase. There are a number of financial risks facing Grayson which would lead to increased utility bills, especially considering its $500 million price tag.

Will this plan affect property value?

Yes, it will lower property values. The Grayson expansion will generate three times the power the current plant produces and thus generate significantly more pollution. There will be more smog, microscopic soot, and increased levels of sulfur dioxide in the air. This will make Glendale and surrounding communities a less desirable place to live. Furthermore, due to the financial risks involved utility rates could increase dramatically.

Don’t we need that extra power?
No. GWP wants to build overcapacity to become a power exporter. This excess power means more pollution in Glendale so that the city can pocket the extra revenue. Immediately after the Grayson expansion, Glendale will have an excess of about 40% over the absolute peak demand. By 2035, once rooftop solar has ramped up and demand has fallen, the excess will about 75%! Find out more here.

Isn’t the plant old? Does it need to be updated?

Only some parts of Grayson are old. The most recent turbine unit in the plant was built in 2003. A recent GWP plant manager said that the older plants are good to run for another 10 years. We have a pending public records request to find out the actual cost of maintaining the plant. The cost of maintaining Grayson is likely less the proposed expansion that would cost at least $27 million/year for 30 years (including interest).

If the Grayson’s lifespan is reduced due to California renewable energy laws, how does this impact taxpayers financially?

Terribly, we’d still owe the money for the expansion. The $500 million GWP plans to spend on the new plant would increase the utility’s costs by about $29 million per year. The idea that they can find enough annual savings from efficiencies to offset this cost is just not plausible. GWP is also not telling us that California is on the verge of passing legislation to mandate 100% clean energy by 2045. Once this occurs, gas-fired plants like Grayson will begin winding down, and debt payments will likely be accelerated. This would increase annual finance costs by about 16%, and GWP will be forced to pass those costs to customers. They will say this is not a result of the repowering, but our rates will be going up all the same.

Send a note to GWP. Urge them to stop plans for Grayson and invest in clean energy instead.

Cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Lancaster, and San Francisco are all moving to 100% clean energy. Even utilities like Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are hitting pause on future plans to build new polluting power plants. 

With your help, we can stop the Grayson Power Plant, but we need to act now. The deadline to submit a comment is November 20. Check out the sample email on this page but be sure to personalize the letter and make it your own. Tell GWP why you love Glendale and why this project threatens our future.

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