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Climate and Environment

Clean Power Will Come To LA From Massive New Mexico Wind Farm

A white wind turbine in the foreground looms above a desert landscape. White turbines span out into the distance behind.
The Red Cloud Wind Project in New Mexico will help power more than 200,000 homes in Los Angeles.
(Pattern Energy
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power)
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More than 120 huge, white wind turbines now span nearly 40,000 acres in rural New Mexico. Those turbines will help power about 223,300 homes in Los Angeles.

Officials with the L.A. Department of Water and Power, or LADWP, estimate that the shift will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as taking nearly 100,000 gas-fueled cars off our roads.

Located about 85 miles southeast of Albuquerque, it’s the largest renewable energy project the department oversees so far.

But some say the project puts unnecessary strain on fragile desert ecosystems and that money would be better spent on expanding energy sources closer to home, like rooftop and community solar projects.

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“The main issue with that source of power is it’s not necessary,” said Jean Su, the director of the Energy Justice Program for environmental group Center for Biological Diversity. “Really the most important thing we can do right now from a justice perspective is get energy right from where folks live. Local decentralized energy is really important for both affordability and climate purposes.”

LADWP says the completion of the massive wind farm last month puts L.A. one step closer to it’s goal of getting all of the energy that fuels our homes and businesses from cleaner sources, like the sun and wind, by 2035, 10 years ahead of the statewide goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045.

The project was developed by California-based company Pattern Energy through an agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority, which sells energy to LADWP.

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