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This paper examines the air quality impact of using distributed generation (DG) to satisfy future growth in power demand in the South Coast Air Basin of Los Angeles, relative to the impact when the demand is met by expanding current central generation (CG) capacity. The impact of decreasing boiler emissions by capturing the waste heat from DGs is not examined. The air quality impacts of these two alternate scenarios are quantified in terms of hourly maximum ground-level and annually averaged primary NOx concentrations, which are estimated using AERMOD. This study focuses on the impact of primary emissions at source–receptor distances of tens of kilometers. We find that the shift to DGs has the potential for decreasing...