The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) invites community members to participate in celebrating Public Power Week on Wednesday, October 9 from 3-7 p.m. in the REO Town Depot and Cogeneration Plant. BWL ambassadors will host electric and water exhibits in the Depot and self-guided tours of the Cogeneration Plant.
“We are proud that the BWL has served Lansing for 128 years,” said J. Peter Lark, BWL General Manager. “The BWL is a driving force for Lansing’s economic vitality, and it’s important for us to tell our customers how valuable we are as a local resource in providing reliable, safe and affordable electric and water service.”
“The BWL benefits the Lansing community as a system governed and operated by the very customers we serve,” said Sandra Zerkle, chair of the Board of Commissioners, the BWL’s eight-member governing body. “Public Power Week is a chance for the BWL to talk to its customers about public power and how it works in Lansing and the value we provide.”
The 110 year-old former Grand Trunk Western Deport was restored as part of the BWL’s $182 million Headquarters and Cogeneration Plant project. Everything from the interior woodwork and vaulted ceilings to the terra cotta roof tiles were either refurbished or replaced. The company that furnished the original roof tiles in the early 1900s is still in business, and supplied new tiles to replace old, broken ones.
The state-of-the-art BWL REO Town natural gas-fired Cogeneration Plant is among the cleanest, greenest and most efficient facility in the U.S. compared to the coal-fired facility it replaced: it slashed greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent; eliminated the need to burn 351,000 tons of coal, and; lowered mercury and SO2 (sulfur dioxide) emissions by over 99 percent, and NOx (oxides of nitrogen) by over 85 percent.
Founded in 1885, the BWL – Michigan’s largest municipally-owned utility, delivers safe and reliable water, electric, steam and chilled water service to more than 100,000 residential and business customers.
Public Power Week is held across the nation October 6-12 with more than 2,000 other publicly owned electric utilities that provide electricity to 47 million Americans. Public Power Week is a national, annual event sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA), the service organization for community- and state-owned electric utilities.