Lansing utility ramps up renewable energy, aims for Carbon Neutrality by 2040 

The Lansing Board of Water and Light is set to launch a series of clean energy projects between 2025 and ’27. These projects encompass solar, wind, and battery storage initiatives, with power generation taking place both within and outside the Lansing region.

“The solar does great for us in the summer months. June, July, and August you get 51% of the solar output for the entire year. And the wind has really good profile in January, February timeframe and also in the fall. So that helps balance. And batteries can shave the peak,” said Dick Peffley, General Manager of BWL.

He said Lansing power demands don’t have as many peaks as some power companies because Lansing has an industrial base, drawing electricity around the clock. Battery storage seemed better than building large jet engine powered peaker plants that are used by some power companies.

The plan includes a 110-megawatt Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) gas-powered plant to complement the battery storage and enhance electricity demand flexibility.

With a total renewable energy capacity of 650 megawatts, the municipal utility’s renewable energy will make up 58 percent of its overall power generation. The entire project is estimated to cost $750 million.

To fund this initiative, a one-time rate increase of approximately two-and-a-half to three percent beyond the usual rate increase will be required.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light has received $12 million from the Michigan Public Service Commission to construct part of the new solar generation and battery storage at Delta Energy Park, located southwest of Lansing near the current facilities.

The utility aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 through these developments.

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