Councilmember O’Farrell Moves to Modernize L.A. Power Grid for Electrification to Get Off Fossil Fuels

Transitioning from fossil fuel-powered technologies is critical to reaching goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035


LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the chair of the Los Angeles City Council’s Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and the River (ECCEJR) committee, today introduced two motions that, together, aim to make a transformative impact by modernizing the City’s power grid, which provides power to more than four million Angelenos, while working to end the usage of fossil fuels at all City sites and facilities, and seeking to end the City’s purchase and usage of gas- or fossil fuel-based equipment, appliances, and vehicles.

“The future of our planet depends on bold leadership on the environment — leadership that the City of Los Angeles will provide,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “The City of Los Angeles is creating a carbon-free future, and we need to take thoughtful, time-sensitive actions to achieve this as soon as possible. If the City leads by example with public buildings, facilities, and purchases, I am confident that the private sector will follow.”

The City of Los Angeles has an enormous power profile: over 7880 GW total capacity, over 3600 miles of transmission lines into the City, and over 10,400 miles of distribution citywide. The City itself owns and manages over 590 buildings, over 16,000 acres of parkland, over 400+ park sites, and includes the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), and the Department of Water and Power (LADWP) — all resulting in a vast carbon footprint. Since the City has yet to fully electrify its buildings and vehicles, by default the City of Los Angeles is a major purchaser of gas-powered appliances, equipment and vehicles.

O’Farrell’s intent is to lead the City Council in electrifying the entire City and removing fossil fuels from the infrastructure that powers Los Angeles.

The first motion, co-presented with Councilmember Paul Krekorian, would direct LADWP to report on what is needed to modernize and upgrade major portions of the City’s power grid infrastructure (including transmission and distribution) to ensure usage of sustainable energy methods including electrification, distributed energy resources, energy storage, and micro-grids. The motion also calls for numerous departments to prepare for all city buildings and facilities to be fully electrified and decarbonized, as well as the creation of a new, all-City master Memorandum of Understanding related to full electrification for all City departments, including POLA and LAWA.

The second motion, seconded by Councilmember Krekorian, would instruct numerous departments to report to the City Council with a plan and timeline to end all gas-powered vehicle, building appliance and equipment usage and purchases; identify fully decarbonized locations, facilities or parks, clearly showing electrified conversions citywide; and create a plan to electrify and decarbonize all concessionaire partnerships utilized by LADWP, POLA, and the Department of Recreation and Parks, taking into account the needs and concerns of local businesses.

The motions will be scheduled and heard at the ECCEJR committee, chaired by O’Farrell, at a date to be determined.