More Work Still Needs to Be Done at Grayson

Photo by Ani GASPARYAN
Plans are in place to tear down portions of the Grayson Power Plant because of outdated and unreliable technology.

By Ani GASPARYAN, intern

Glendale Water and Power will be moving forward with its plan to repower Grayson Power Plant, despite previous opposition from environmentalists.

Glendale City Council voted unanimously on July 23 in favor of Glendale Water and Power’s updated proposal to repower the plant. The previous proposal, which was for the gas plant to have a capacity of 262 megawatts, was put on hold after environmentalists pressured city council members to ask GWP to look into other energy alternatives.

The plant will now have a capacity of 93 megawatts, a 50-megawatt battery and other clean resources. But despite these changes, environmentalists have continued to express some concern with GWP’s plans for Grayson.

Glendale Environmental Coalition, an environmental group in Glendale, organized a rally before a city council meeting several weeks ago, insisting that GWP continue to look for more clean energy alternatives to power the plant than what their newest proposal included. Protesters held signs that read “Tell GWP yes to clean energy, no to gas at Grayson,” and gave speeches on the harm GWP’s plans could have on the community.

Dan Brotman, president of GEC, said that GWP’s newest proposal is an improvement from what it had proposed last year but there still might be more room to improve.

“All we’re saying now is that we think there are some large stones that they have left unturned. They need to prove to us that they have fully investigated some of these things,” Brotman said. “Until they do that, we’re not convinced that they do need the entire 93 megawatts of gas that they’re proposing now.”

Brotman announced at the rally that he plans to run for city council.

“I think [the city council] needs to prioritize the environmental impacts of the decisions that they’re making,” Brotman said. “And I just think that the city council needs to ask tougher questions, and push back more on the city staff.”

Most of the facilities and units at Grayson were built between 1941 and 1977, resulting in most being outdated and some needing to be monitored. Once the plan to repower Grayson is fully approved, GWP can move forward with demolition to replace its older units with more updated and reliable ones.

Mark Young, deputy general manager at GWP, said that gas turbines are faster and more flexible. He said that GWP has to have reliable power to do its job well as a utility and prevent blackouts in the city.

“We all have to have enough resources to cover the what if, and that’s a big what if,” Young said.

Last year, California approved a measure that will require all of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2045. Young said that GWP is well on its way to meet these requirements by 2030.

He added that people in the utility world know that GWP’s latest proposal is an extremely progressive move.

“We should be applauded for how clean we are, because the cleaner you are the more expensive [you are],” he said.