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Reflecting on GHBLP Successes in a Challenging Year

As a Board of Directors, we recognize that our GHBLP team has faced a challenging year. They have worked diligently and collaboratively to follow the evolving directives of their governing bodies all while remaining committed to meeting our mission and acting in the best interests of the community in line with our customers’ values.

We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the BLP management and staff for their service and for their significant achievements over the last few years. The executive team, under the leadership of our general manager David Walters, has collaborated to meet the changing needs of Grand Haven and to maintain and enhance the reliability and affordability of our distribution service and sustainability of our power supply. These accomplishments are the direct result of the professional and skilled service of our dedicated workforce. The Board would like to commend each and every member of GHBLP’s team.  More specifically, here are just a few of these accomplishments.

Reliability: Over the past five years, BLP managers worked together on a massive upgrade of our transmission lines and implemented an advanced metering infrastructure system that allows for real-time remote meter reading. While doing this, the utility also earned the highest distinction from the American Public Power Association’s RP3 program, which is based on industry-recognized leading practices in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Robert Shelley, distribution & engineering manager, and his team successfully completed and performed the oversight of these efforts.

Affordability: Renee Molyneux, administrative services manager, and Lynn Diffell, accounting & finance manager, worked collaboratively with their teams to restructure debt and employee compensation & benefits to protect the BLP and by extension, the community, from future liabilities. They worked to secure grants for workforce retraining beyond our former coal-fired power plant and commissioned an independent rates study and successfully reduced rates yet again through the 2022 fiscal year.

Sustainability: The successful closure and demolition of the Sims plant was a monumental undertaking, reducing our local carbon footprint in line with community values. David Walters and Erik Booth, operations & power supply manager, worked with Michigan Public Power Agency to shift Grand Haven’s power supply from a single source generator to a diversified power supply mix, now sourcing all our needed energy from the regional network or “grid.” This enables us to affordably access energy from a diverse power supply portfolio, including over 28% from renewables by 2024. In parallel with site demolition, Erik Booth also worked with EGLE and EPA on behalf of the BLP on cost effective closure solutions for coal ash impoundments on the Sims site.

The Grand Haven Board of Light & Power team has accomplished much in the last five years. For more information on these accomplishments please review our 2017-2021 Strategic Progress Report. We look forward to supporting them and our community in the years to come.

GHBLP Board of Directors

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