Sept. 12 2013 12:00 AM

Lansing’s publicly owned utility to add wind to its renewable energy portfolio

Thursday, Sept. 12 — The Lansing Board of Water and Light is diversifying its renewable energy portfolio, announcing today that it will start distributing energy generated from wind turbines 45 miles north of Lansing in fall 2014.

“We’re excited about bringing the BWL’s first wind energy-sourced electricity supply to our customers,” BWL General Manager Peter Lark said in a statement. “This adds another clean-energy component to the BWL’s renewable energy portfolio.

The power-purchase agreement is with Excelon Wind, the largest owner and operator of wind farms in Michigan. The energy will come from eight turbines east of Ithaca in Gratiot County. Each turbine is capable of producing 2.4 megawatts of electricity and is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 6,600 homes.

The BWL says it’s on track to meet the state standard of providing 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015. It also says it’s the first utility in Michigan develop a renewable portfolio standard, which also includes two hydroelectric units, 432 solar panels on Cedar Street and an agreement with Granger Landfill Energy that produces energy from landfill gas.

“Exelon Wind is looking forward to supplying the Lansing Board of Water & Light with emissions free renewable energy,” Dave Drescher, vice president Wind and Solar, Exelon Power, said in a statement. “The project will generate significant economic benefits in Gratiot County and is an expansion to our current footprint in Michigan which consists of five wind projects.”