Residents of Glendale turned out in force in February to protest the plan by Glendale Water and Power (GWP) to upgrade the city’s Grayson electric power plant. The residents said they wanted renewable energy options, not an upgraded plant fueled by nonrenewables.
The dispute concerns Northeast Los Angeles, because what Glendale decides to do with Grayson could affect what it does with its Scholl Canyon dump in the hills above Eagle Rock.
One issue is what to with the methane produced by decaying waste at Scholl Canyon. The current Grayson plant can use the methane as a natural gas fuel source. But an upgraded plant would not be able to use the methane. So, if Grayson is upgraded (as GWP wants) or closed (as some Glendale residents want), there would no longer be a use for the methane. If there is no use for methane, it must be “flared,” or ignited, so that it dissipates in the atmosphere.
Flaring is wasteful and objectionable on environmental grounds. But another solution floated by Glendale – to build a biogas plant at Scholl Canyon to convert the methane to electricity – has also generated opposition, in part, because the biogas plan was hatched without consulting leaders in NELA about its impacts on the area in terms of pollution, traffic and other hazards.
As the situation becomes more complicated, the danger is that NELA will be stuck with only bad outcomes.