The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) released its new plan to guide future operations, which calls for increasing the utility’s use of renewable energy and reducing energy waste, with the goal of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2040.
The BWL’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was developed over the past year with input and comments provided at 18 stakeholder meetings, five public meetings held throughout the BWL’s service territory, promoted on the utility’s social media channels, and through a survey of 400 residential and 300 business customers.
The plan maintains the BWL’s ability to provide reliable and affordable power to customers while moving the BWL to become Michigan’s cleanest electric utility by increasing and accelerating the company’s use of renewable energy and seeking carbon neutrality sooner.
“This plan reflects the BWL’s and our customers’ mission and values, including reliable and affordable electric power, sustainable growth and environmental stewardship,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley.
The new plan builds on the BWL’s previous IRP plans. In the 2016 IRP, the BWL pledged to end all use of coal in its power plants – a goal that will soon be achieved – and to deliver 40 percent of its power from renewable sources and energy efficiency programs by 2030. Under the new IRP, the BWL will seek to deliver 50 percent of its power from clean energy sources in 2030 and to be a carbon neutral utility by 2040. Carbon neutral means that any carbon emissions from the BWL will be offset by an equal reduction in BWL emissions from somewhere else, either through increased use of clean energy, reducing energy waste improving efficiencies and other investments.
The IRP findings will be used to develop a new BWL Strategic Plan, to be presented to the Board of Commissioners for approval later this year. The full IRP is available at www.lbwl.com/IRP2020.
The BWL owns 2,000 miles of overhead and underground power lines and more than 800 miles of water mains, providing more than 2.7 million megawatt hours and 7 billion gallons of water to customers annually. The BWL has nearly 98,000 electric and 57,000 water customers.