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Bass leads delegation to Washington, D.C.


New clean energy grant for LADWP

As Mayor Karen Bass and a delegation of six City Council members were wrapping up three days of meetings with national leaders in Washington D.C. this week, Bass announced the L.A. Department of Water and Power will receive a $48 million federal grant to expand and strengthen clean energy.

“Thank you to the Biden administration for continuing to lock arms with us to deliver for the people of Los Angeles,’’ Bass said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Last week, California received more than $1 billion in funding for the nation’s first clean hydrogen hubs and today, the city of Los Angeles has been awarded $48 million which will help us ensure that all Angelenos have access to affordable and reliable clean electricity at all times,’’ she added.

The delegation–including Council President Paul Krekorian and council members Bob Blumenfield, Eunisses Hernandez, Heather Hutt, Traci Park and Hugo Soto-Martinez– was in Washington to meet with White House officials and members of California’s congressional delegation.

During Wednesday’s meeting with Department of Energy Under Secretary of Infrastructure David Crane, the city leaders discussed the new funding and how to further partner to protect the environment.

The $48 million is part of a $10.5 billion investment under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships program to “enhance grid flexibility, improve the resilience of the power system amid extreme weather and climate change and ensure the city has access to affordable, reliable and clean energy,’’ according to the Department of Energy.

Additionally, the grant will help DWP create a “single platform’’ on which the agency can distribute energy resources such as electric vehicles, EV chargers, energy storage, solar photovoltaic systems and “demand-response’’ infrastructure to better support the grid.

According to Bass’ office, these improvements will allow the department to “quickly rebalance’’ the electrical system after extreme climate events such as wildfires, heat waves or tropical storms.

“This funding is a major investment by the federal government to help LADWP build a resilient and equitable clean energy future,’’ Cynthia McClain-Hill, DWP board president, said in a statement.

“The support from the U.S. Department of Energy will be instrumental in continuing to achieve our mission to provide all our customers, especially those in underserved communities, with access to clean, reliable power,’’ she added.

The delegation also met with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to finish up its last day in Washington.

On Tuesday, the group met with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge and Sen. Alex Padilla, as well as U.S House Democratic Vice Chair Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-36).

During the talk with McDonough, he informed the city leaders that L.A. could be at risk of losing more than $100 million in Veteran Affairs benefits because Congress wants to “claw back’’ money to balance the federal budget–but  that a “legislative fix could save it,’’ Bass told KNX News.

That fix appears to be already in the works, following the delegation’s meeting with Padilla, as well as with members of L.A. area’s congressional delegation.

Los Angeles has a quarter-million veterans, and too many of them are living on the streets, Krekorian told City News Service on Tuesday. The talks with McDonough served as an opportunity to speak in depth about how to best provide job opportunities, housing and other services for veterans, he added.

Additionally, council members said talks with Fudge were “productive.’’

“We learned that many cities have not utilized their (housing) vouchers,’’ Bass told KNX. “So, needless to say, I wanted to be the first in line to make sure that L.A. gets any unused vouchers that other cities don’t need….I’ll tell you why,’’ she added. “There isn’t any city around that is dealing with the numbers (of homelessness) that we’re dealing with.’’