! The new Board of Water and Power Commissioners pressed ahead Tuesday with its vow to bolster the utility’s “green power” portfolio, hearing suggestions from critics of its renewable energy plan. The panel, which has said it wants to accelerate a state goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2017, heard complaints about the way the Department of Water and Power issues contracts and about the commitment of past officials to environmental concerns. “If you really want to make this a success you can, but it will require rethinking how you do your business,” said John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. The workshop, which included dozens of policymakers, environmentalists and representatives of renewable energy-related firms, marked the start of a process that will eventually go to neighborhood councils and the highest levels of city government. Discussion about an ongoing wind energy project illustrated some of the obstacles the DWP faces. The Pine Tree Wind Project, which will harness breezes with turbines as tall as the Statue of Liberty and as wide as an airplane’s wingspan, began in 2002 but will not be completed until 2007, a time span that troubled the commissioners. Martinez blamed the delay on the environmental review and permitting process, as well as still-pending legal challenges. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This is our opportunity to begin looking forward,” said commission President Mary Nichols. Renewable sources currently make up about 5 percent of the DWP’s portfolio, said Henry Martinez, head of the utility’s power system. The renewable sources the DWP is considering adding include biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind power. Councilman Greig Smith touted biomass, particularly waste-to-energy programs that he has advocated as a replacement for urban landfills such as Sunshine Canyon in Granada Hills. Smith told the DWP board that the council would support its efforts. “Wind generation makes a lot of sense in my district,” said the northwest San Fernando Valley representative.