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Lansing Board of Water & Light Unveils Plan to Build More Than 650 MW of Clean Energy Projects

The Lansing Board of Water & Light on July 19 announced its plan to build over 650 megawatts of clean energy projects to support its clean energy goals and meet future regional load growth.

The projects will be complemented by a new 110-MW Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines gas plant on the site of Delta Energy Park for flexible capacity to be completed by 2026, and a possible additional gas plant at a location to be determined later dependent on future load requirements and regional energy regulations, the Michigan public power utility said.

All of these projects and costs are still under negotiations with the proposed developers and are subject to change pending contract agreements.

The clean energy projects are expected to be complete between 2025-2027, and include:

  • 160 MW of battery storage
  • 65 MW of local solar
  • 195 MW of additional solar outside of the Lansing region
  • 238 MW of wind outside of the Lansing region
  • Continued growth of energy waste reduction, as well as expansion into demand response programs for customers

The portfolio will bring a capital investment of approximately $750 million and is expected to be finished in the next 10 years.

The projects are the result of BWL’s All Source Request for Proposals, which received 96 offers totaling 8,330 MW.

“Once implemented, this will bring BWL’s total generational portfolio to around 58 percent renewable and reduce our carbon footprint by 75 percent compared to 2005,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “This continues to position BWL as a leader in the State of Michigan as a clean energy provider, and puts us on the path to carbon neutrality by 2040.”

As part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “MI Healthy Climate Plan,” which calls for 1,000-MW of energy storage by 2025, this portfolio would supply 16 percent of the state’s energy storage goal even though the BWL only supplies 6 percent of the state’s total energy.

BWL received $12 million from the Michigan Public Service Commission to support building 10 MW of solar and 40 MW of 4-hour battery storage on the Delta Energy Park site. 

“This is the largest planned growth in BWL’s nearly 140 year history and ensures we’re able to provide our customers with reliable and affordable energy for decades to come,” said Peffley.

The BWL has approximately 100,000 electric customers, 58,000 water customers, 155 steam customers and 19 chilled water customers.

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