The BLP is committed to meeting our community’s shared priorities with a sustainable vision for the future. Among other activities each year, we issue a customer satisfaction survey to listen to our community. Here are some important considerations from the past two years:
In the FY2021 survey, 82% of our residential customers indicated local generation was important to them. Local control has been a longstanding value in our community and was an important consideration when retiring the Sims coal plant. The future Harbor Island design plans include a right-sized peaking plant that gives us the ability to generate electricity during periods of peak demand, such as this past February cold snap.
In addition to local generation, over 68% of customers said they were interested in GHBLP purchasing additional renewable energy. We agree that this must be a priority for Grand Haven. In fact, GHBLP is on track to contract 25% of power from renewable sources by 2022, ahead of state requirements.
However, while the community desires renewable energy, our FY2020 survey indicated that 85% of our community also reported no interest in paying more for renewables or interest only if it was at or below current cost, indicating strong concerns about affordability.
The BLP’s power supply plans meet all of our community’s needs: local control through the proposed Harbor Island peaking power plant; affordability through that same local control and the smaller generation scope of the peaking plant; and environmental sustainability through the increased purchase of renewables coupled with dedicated space on Harbor Island to take advantage of future technologies like battery storage.
Even though these plans are well underway, we are still listening and will continue to do so. We encourage anyone looking to learn more to read more about the Grand Haven power plan and the process to reach that plan.
Read the letter to the editor submitted to the Grand Haven Tribune here.