Lansing Energy Tomorrow is the BWL’s major electric modernization program to replace and upgrade aging infrastructure with clean, efficient and reliable generation and transmission assets. The plan is vitally important to the future of the greater Lansing region, which will guide how the BWL will meet the region’s energy needs well into the future. In 2016, the Lansing Board of Water & Light worked with a Citizens’ Advisory Committee to determine how to replace its coal generation.
BWL customers told the citizens’ committee they wanted energy that’s affordable, reliable and cleaner than coal. They also wanted the BWL to deliver a reliable and affordable energy plan that improves air quality, attracts business and supports development.
Today, the BWL has committed to 50 percent clean energy by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2040, which means improved air quality and environmental health and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2025. This plan continues the BWL’s innovation and leadership in moving away from coal to a cleaner energy portfolio that’s also affordable and reliable.
The BWL will add both wind and solar power to its renewable portfolio to reinforce its commitment to cleaner energy. Plus, there needs to be enough natural gas power to keep rates affordable, and to ensure the reliable energy source Lansing homeowners and businesses expect and demand.
To keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter, our community relies on power that’s ready whenever we need it for our homes, businesses, hospitals, schools and large industrial plants. To ensure the reliable electric supply Lansing needs, the plan includes replacing Eckert with power from a new, natural gas-fired plant. Natural gas is the reliable power source Lansing customers expect and demand because it can be turned on quickly to meet spikes in demand or to cover gaps in production from wind or solar.
The citizens’ committee understood the BWL’s history of affordable rates, so they carefully considered various alternatives to replace the energy from Eckert. Their recommendation balanced affordability and reliability with renewable choices. The result is a plan that will keep BWL rates affordable, while also being flexible enough to adapt if natural gas gets too expensive.
The BWL has a plan to replace the coal-fired Eckert Power Station with a cleaner mix of energy from wind, solar and natural gas. The plan also gives the BWL flexibility to add even more clean energy in the future, assuming new technologies continue to make renewable power more affordable and reliable. The BWL will take advantage of new technology and opportunities and will review this plan every four years.