The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) announced today it will host five open houses in November to seek public input as the utility updates its plan to continue delivering cleaner, affordable and reliable power to the region for decades to come.
Citizens who attend one of the open houses will learn about the BWL’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which will serve as the foundation of the company’s new strategic plan. An IRP is a best-practice management tool used by utilities to assess future energy needs for customers and determine how best to meet them. The IRP will support the BWL’s ongoing move to cleaner power while maintaining affordable and reliable energy for customers. At the open houses, citizens will be encouraged to offer input and suggestions and speak with BWL staff members on a variety of topics including generation challenges and clean energy initiatives.
“Every few years, electric utilities including the BWL complete a formal integrated resource planning process to use as a foundation for updating their operational plans,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “This process is a necessary step in good power utility management, as the end result is a plan that will guide how we deliver power to our customers for many years to come. It also gives all of our stakeholders, including members of the general public, an opportunity to learn about and be part of the planning process, to help us better understand their future energy needs and interests.”
The times, dates and locations of the five open houses are:
- Nov. 6, 2019 (Wednesday), 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., BWL REO Depot, 1201 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
- Nov. 7, 2019 (Thursday), 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., East Lansing Public Library (large meeting room), 950 Abbot Road, East Lansing
- Nov. 13, 2019 (Wednesday), 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Delta Township District Library (Elmwood Room), 5130 Davenport Drive, Lansing
- Nov. 14, 2019 (Thursday), 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Alfreda Schmidt Center (Community Room), 5825 Wise Road, Lansing
- Nov. 19, 2019 (Tuesday), 9 a.m. to noon, BWL REO Depot, 1201 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
As part of the IRP process, BWL staff have already held more than 30 meetings with stakeholders from across the region who have keen interests in maintaining affordable and reliable energy, while taking prudent steps to move away from fossil fuels as a power source. Key stakeholders include business, industrial and residential customers, environmental interest groups, local governments and their staffs, neighborhood associations and community-based agencies and organizations.
“We all look forward to a future of all-green power,” Peffley said. “To get there, we need to stay mindful of our customers’ top priority, which they have communicated to us repeatedly, and that is to maintain affordable and reliable power while always pushing toward cleaner power.”
The final IRP is expected to be presented to the BWL Board of Commissioners in January. BWL staff will then use the plan to create a new strategic operational plan, which is scheduled for presentation to BWL Commissioners in July.
In 2016, the BWL finalized its current strategic operational plan, which features the BWL moving to become the state’s cleanest electric utility. The plan includes ending all use of coal by 2025 by replacing the utility‘s aging Eckert Power Station and Erickson Power Station with a new, cleaner natural gas-fired power plant and a substantial increase in renewable power. Under the plan, the BWL has committed to 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030, 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.
More information about the BWL’s energy plans can be found at www.LansingEnergyTomorrow.com. Citizens and other stakeholders who are unable to attend the public open houses can also submit comments or ask questions at http://bit.ly/BWLIRP19.