Environmental stewardship and sustainability are integral to BWL practices and policies and are an ongoing process, encompassing all of our utilities, facilities and employees, as well as our residential, commercial and industrial customers.
In 2013, our Board of Commissioners unanimously passed an Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Policy, which guides our efforts as we work toward maintaining a company culture of being environmental leaders in greater Lansing.
BWL's environmental leadership was highlighted when BWL became the first utility in the State of Michigan to adopt a renewable energy portfolio in 2007. The BWL is now committed to providing 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.
Along with a comprehensive energy efficiency program, the BWL will also cease coal generation in Lansing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the end of 2025. To achieve these goals, the BWL is planning to expand investments in solar and wind energy, ramp-up energy efficiency programming, and implement new technologies that help customers manage their energy needs.
BWL Renewable Portfolio
Here is a snapshot of the BWL's current renewable portfolio:
The BWL owns and maintains the Cedar Street Solar Array, which consists of 824 photovoltaic panels with a gross generating capacity of 150 kilowatts. Another 50 solar panels sit along the REO Town Headquarters rooftops, generating 13.5 kilowatts. We also have a contract to purchase power from Delta Solar, the largest tracking solar array project in Michigan located in Delta Township.
The nearly 24-megawatt solar array has 86,000 panels and can generate enough energy to power more than 4,200 homes. We've partnered with the City of East Lansing and Michigan Energy Options to build the East Lansing Solar Park. Participants in this voluntary program will be able to lease solar panels for 25 years. The renewable energy generated by these panels will be reflected as a credit on the BWL's electric utility bill.
Eight Nordex wind turbines reach to the sky just north of Lansing in Ithaca. Standing at 275 feet tall, the turbines generate about 60,000 megawatt hours annually.
Rounding out the BWL’s renewable portfolio is Granger’s Wood Road and Grand River land fill gas sites and Tower-Kleber Hydro. Together, the three have a gross generating capacity of nearly 13 megawatts.