Southern California Utility Goes Green to the Extreme

The headquarters for Burbank (Calif.) Water and Power (BWP) has slowly transformed into a green campus. The effort involved repurposing some of the utility’s decaying old facilities, which, in some cases, were more than 100 years old.

The commitment to renewables has helped the utility achieve many milestones over the years. In 2001, BWP unveiled the world’s first commercial landfill power plant. Ten microturbines run on naturally occurring landfill gas, producing 300 kilowatts of renewable energy. In 2005, the utility’s Magnolia Power Project was awarded the Global Power Plant of the Year as the only steam-generating plant using 100 percent recycled water with zero-water-discharge into storm drains.

Ongoing improvements have been both big and small. When employees first arrive to work in the morning, they will park their cars under a solar array carport on the parking lot. It will power the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) electrical equipment building that is scheduled to be open next year.

The campus also features three LEED Platinum structures, including the state’s only LEED warehouse. The buildings also have light-emitting diode lighting and daylighted offices, all of which are conservation measures designed to reduce energy consumption.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer
Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelancer writer. He has a passion for renewable power. He may be reached at .

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.