The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) Board of Commissioners approved a new strategic plan for the utility that includes a commitment to climate-conscious power generation and supports the BWL’s commitment to becoming Michigan’s cleanest electric utility by increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing energy waste.
The strategic plan was developed in collaboration with BWL’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) over the past year to set the BWL’s strategic priorities for 2021 to 2025. The two projects sought 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.
In 2016, the BWL pledged to end all use of coal in its power plants and to deliver 40 percent of power from renewable sources and energy efficiency programs by 2030. The BWL will now seek to deliver 50 percent of its power from clean energy sources in 2030 and to be a carbon neutral utility by 2040.
“BWL’s new plan provides a high-level road map to guide the BWL’s operations for the next five years by emphasizing our most important goals and assets, including our workers, our community, our commitment to safety and to delivering reliable and affordable power to our customers,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley.
The BWL’s 2021 strategic plan reaffirms BWL’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce, safety on the worksite, exceptional customer service, innovation, transparency and cutting-edge technologies. The plan also outlines the updated mission, vision and value statements:
- Mission: The mission of the BWL is to provide a safe, reliable and affordable utility experience through public ownership, climate consciousness and innovative strategies.
- Vision: The vision of the BWL is a commitment to being the “Utility of the Future” while supporting community growth. The BWL will provide carbon neutral utility products, services and programs with exceptional customer service that are financially accessible to all customers. This will be accomplished by utilizing evolving, cutting-edge technology, as well as partnering with the Greater Lansing region and a highly skilled, diverse workforce.
- Integrity - We provide safe, reliable and affordable service in an ethical and conscientious manner. This responsibility includes our impact on the planet and people we serve.
- Innovation – We evolve operations by mitigating business and environmental risks with foresight and agility.
- Inclusion – We celebrate and value differences. As a corporate citizen that is publicly owned, contributions from our employees and customers are instrumental to our success.
- Initiative – We are goal oriented and results driven.
These were based on five strategic priorities:
- Priority 1: Customer and Community - to enhance the customer utility experience and enrich the community we serve.
- Priority 2: Workforce Engagement and Diversity - to maintain a workforce that embraces safety, is agile, diverse, and engage and prepared to support the BWL’s success.
- Priority 3: Climate and Environment - to maintain a leadership role in providing energy solutions that support a sustainable planet.
- Priority 4: Operational Resiliency and Continuous Improvement - to apply principles of operational resilience and continuous improvement to all organizational assets, such as equipment, people and knowledge.
- Priority 5: Financial Stability - to maintain a financially viable organization.
BWL’s new 250 megawatt (MWs) Delta Energy Park is also nearing completion and is expected to be operational in Fall 2021. The new plant, BWL’s second natural gas-fired plant, will replace both BWL’s coal-fired plants, Eckert Power Station and Erickson Power Station, upon their retirements. This will make BWL the largest utility in Michigan to generate coal-free power by 2025, reducing its carbon emissions by 80 percent.
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 more than 97,000 electric and 56,000 water customers.
The full Strategic Plan is available at www.lbwl.com/strategicplan.