The Jeuns

Perspective: New natural gas plant aligns with clean energy objectives

June 13, 2024 | by The Jeuns

The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) remains steadfast in its commitment to providing reliable clean energy. With the national push towards transitioning to renewable energy sources, the BWL understands the importance of balancing this transition with the increasing demand for electricity to power data centers, electric vehicles, and electric heating.

As the general manager of BWL, I am proud of our efforts to achieve our internal goals of delivering 50 percent clean energy by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2040. While we aim to solely rely on renewable energy sources like wind and solar due to their minimal operating costs, the intermittency of these sources necessitates a reliable energy resource available round-the-clock.

To strike a balance between sustainability, affordability, and reliability, BWL recently announced a 650-megawatt clean energy portfolio which includes a mix of solar, wind, battery storage, and a RICE plant. The RICE plant, which operates intermittently to support fluctuating renewable energy generation, plays a crucial role in maintaining grid stability.

While natural gas has been considered a cleaner alternative to coal, BWL remains committed to minimizing its reliance on natural gas in favor of cleaner, renewable energy sources. This commitment is evident in our addition of customer programs aimed at reducing carbon footprints, such as the Peak Power Partner demand response program and Electrification Rebates.

As a pioneer in the Michigan utility sector, BWL continues to set high standards by proactively developing renewable energy portfolios and meeting clean energy legislation requirements. Our comprehensive energy strategy ensures that we can deliver safe, reliable, and affordable utility services to our customers consistently.

Dick Peffley, as the general manager of BWL, leads the charge in spearheading these initiatives to make BWL a leader in cleaner, greener utility services for the people of Greater Lansing.

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