L.A. Aqueduct Power

The eight hydroelectric power plants located along the Aqueduct route provide Los Angeles with clean, low cost electricity in addition to providing power for LADWP facilities along the system. These plants generate more electricity than they consume. It is estimated that each year, the Owens Valley hydro powerplants can generate approximately 122 megawatts of energy when running at maximum capacity, which is enough to serve about 179,000 homes. 

The hydropower generated from the electric power plant plus 4 substations provides electricity to all 6,000 LADWP customers in the Owens Valley which includes both residential households and commercial businesses.

• In 2019-20, we supplied more than 22.5K gigawatt hours to 1.54M customers as well as 6,000 customers in the Owens Valley.

• Power resources include: renewable energy (3%), natural gas (27%), nuclear (14%), large hydro (4%), coal (21%).

• Responsible for inspection, maintenance or replacement, and operation of the following: energy generation, energy storage, transmission, and distribution.

2020-2021 LADWP BRIEFING BOOK

L.A. aqueduct

History 

The construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct brought a reliable source of water to the arid city of Los Angeles. However, the aqueduct did much more than quench the city’s thirst, it also brought power to Los Angeles. 
During the building of the aqueduct, the LADWP brought online Los Angeles’s first power plant—located at Cottonwood and Division Creeks and built in 1908—to supply hydroelectric power for the aqueduct’s construction.
The Bureau of Los Angeles Aqueduct Power (forerunner to the LADWP) was established in 1909, with Ezra F. Scattergood named as chief electrical engineering. As William Mulholland's counterpart for the Power System, Scattergood became the driving spirit in the development of the municipal electric system.

EARLY POWER GENERATION

L.A. AQUEDUCT POWER FACILITIES

Sylmar Converter Station – Pacific Intertie

Power Plants 1 & 2

Barren Ridge Switching Station

Haiwee Hydroelectric Power Station

Haiwee Reservoir

Cottonwood/Division Creek

Big Pine Power Plant

Pleasant Valley Reservoir

Owens River Gorge and Hydroelectric Plants

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Large scale solar –
Mojave Desert

Pine Tree Wind Farm and Pine Tree Solar – Tehachapi Mountains













Not as much is known about the aqueduct’s role in providing the city’s first power generation resource. Learn more from our archives, Intake Story: Power and the Aqueduct