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Union Workers Raise Concerns Over Record-Cheap Solar Deal, Putting City Contract On Hold

Solar panels cover the roof of a Sam's Club store in Glendora, California.
Solar panels cover the roof of a Sam's Club store in Glendora, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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Los Angeles has been considering a solar power deal that’s being called record-cheap. 

According to an article in the L.A. Times, LADWP would pay less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour under the contract. The deal also includes at least 200 megawatts of lithium-ion batteries, which could help with storing solar power. But the city declined approving the contract this week after the city-run utility’s labor union raised concerns. Two LADWP commissioners voted in favor of approving the deal at a meeting Tuesday. One commissioner voted no, another abstained and another was absent. The LADWP board is expected to reconsider the contract at its next meeting. We take a look at the deal on AirTalk. What do you think about the proposed deal?

We received this statement from LADWP: “LADWP will be meeting with the Union next week to discuss this project and the Board of Water and Power Commissioners will be considering the item at the next meeting.”

We received this statement from 8Minute Energy spokesperson Jeff McKay: “This is what the future of energy looks like and we’re thrilled to be co-creating that future in collaboration with our fellow innovators at LADWP. Together, thanks to Eland’s advanced storage and dispatch capabilities, we’re working to dispel misconceptions about the availability, reliability, and long-term viability of clean solar power. Utilizing existing transmission infrastructure to an extent never before seen for solar power plants, allows for the rapid expansion of clean energy projects while saving the ratepayer money. This project would be a huge win—for the city of Los Angeles, the people of California as well as a game-changer for the renewable energy industry.”

We also reached out to IBEW Local 18 for comment. We did not hear back by the time we aired this segment.


Sammy Roth, L.A. Times reporter covering energy, he wrote about the solar deal; he tweets @Sammy_Roth