County Utilities Department To Host Town Hall Meeting To Discuss Future Energy Thursday In Council Chambers

DPU Deputy Manager Jordan Garcia

COUNTY News:

Community members are invited to attend a Town Hall meeting to discuss potential methods for powering Los Alamos County in the not-too-distant future.

The meeting is 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, in Council Chambers at the Los Alamos County Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave. Remote participation will be available through Zoom using the link ladpu.com/TownHall.

“Many factors are driving future energy decisions,” said Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Deputy Manager Jordan Garcia. “The San Juan Generating Station closed in late September, DPU has a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040, renewable resources are in great demand and commodity costs are rising in an unpredictable, volatile energy market.”

DPU is hosting the Town Hall meeting in response to these factors among others. Another driver is the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) in which Los Alamos County is participating. This proposed nuclear electric generation facility to be constructed at Idaho National Laboratory will utilize small modular reactor (SMR) technology developed by NuScale Power. Los Alamos County is subscribed to the project through Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and has off-ramp opportunities to disengage from the project at various times prior to its 2030 completion. The next off-ramp will occur on February 1.

“It’s important that we lay the groundwork today for tomorrow’s grid,” Garcia said. “To be successful, we need input not only from industry experts, but also from the people who live and work here. Those are the people who are ultimately invested in our community and want to see it thrive.”

Hosted by DPU, the Town Hall meeting will be run by the Board of Public Utilities in an informal format. Participants can expect to hear presentations, ask questions if they want and engage in discussion.

DPU is in a power pool arrangement with the Department of Energy through an Electric Coordination Agreement so that the two entities can blend resources.

Los Alamos County’s current resources under the ECA are as follows, with energy types and peak capacities in parentheses:

  • Laramie River Station entitlement (coal, 10 megawatts)
  • El Vado hydroelectric facility (renewable hydropower, 9 megawatts)
  • Abiquiu hydroelectric facility (renewable hydropower, 17 megawatts)
  • Los Alamos’ Western Area Power Administration entitlement (renewable hydropower, 10 megawatts)
  • Photovoltaic array on East Jemez landfill site (renewable solar, 1 megawatt)
  • County transmission arrangements
  • County purchased power contracts
  • Power Purchase Agreement (mix of renewable wind, photovoltaic and coal, 45 megawatts)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory’s combustion turbine (natural gas, 25 megawatts)
LOS ALAMOS

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