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E-M:/ Lansing Bd of Water and Light wants its OWN new coal plant too

Apparently the idea that Michigan already has 5 new, additive coal plant proposals with 2300 + MW added capacity either approved (NMU @ 10 MW) or under consideration for air permits (Holland BPW @ 78 MW, Consumers Energy Karn Weadock @ 930 MW, Wolverine in Rogers City @ 600, and Dynegy/LS Power in Midland @ 750 MW), is not enough to discourage Lansing Board of Water and Light to propose its own 250 MW facility next to Lansing.  Oh that’s right -- DTE also wants a nuclear plant too, at least two other coal facilities are also being actively discussed (Alma M&M Energy and Tondu’s Filer Twp).


The particular irony here is that the head of BWL, Peter Lark, was the head of the MI Public Service Commission 21st Century Energy Plan issued in 2007 that said that Michigan needs only 1 base load electric plant if the state does what needs to be done to save energy and employ readily available renewable sources.  In fact, while Mr. Lark is quoted below saying demand is growing, when in fact many other electric and non-electric observers say Michigan’s demand for electricity is flat-lined and will be flat for years.  The shuttered factories now being knocked down in Lansing and the commitments of Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian Township and Ingham County to vigorously promote energy conservation measures all fly in the face of that contention locally as well.  If BWL committed to renewable sources like wind and solar perhaps some of those good paying manufacturing jobs Lansing has lost could be brought back actually building the components.


Michigan is going in the wrong direction -- of 150 power plants proposed in the last 5 or so years around the country, already 63 have been cancelled, mainly because they made no economic sense.  In a state that hasn’t even begun to get serious about energy efficiency and conservation, that is pathetically low in its pursuit of renewables despite enormous potential here, to have the former head of the MPSC and author of the 21st Century Energy Plan propose this brand new coal plant is almost outrageous.  


May 28, 2008

BWL plans new $1B plant near Delta Twp. facility

Site to be funded by 7% rate increase, fired up by coal, biomass, utility says

Christine Rook
Lansing State Journal

Customers want more energy.

Regulators want it cleaner.

And a local power company says the way to appease both is with a new $1 billion power plant.

Lansing Board of Water & Light on Tuesday announced plans to build a mostly coal-fired plant near its existing Delta Township coal-based facility.

Two-thirds of the electricity generated at the new plant would come from low-sulfur coal. Biomass such as waste wood, paper and crop residue would fuel the rest.

Customers will pay for construction, according to the BWL, through 30- or 40-year bonds. Those bonds are then to be funded with an estimated 7 percent rate increase.

In all, the plant would produce 250 megawatts at any given moment, enough to light up 125,000 homes and to help BWL keep pace with what it sees as increased demand by businesses and residents alike.

"We are growing," BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark said. "There's no doubt about it. We are providing more electricity than ever before."






Anne M. Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter - 109 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906  - 517-484-2372    anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

Visit us at http://michigan.sierraclub.org/index.shtml


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"The idea of shifting to a carbon-free society appears to be technically feasible. The question is whether it's politically feasible or economically feasible."

Brian O'Neil, National Center for Atmospheric Research