News & Information

Happy Fourth of July

REMINDER: Our Service Center will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019 and will re-open with normal business hours on Friday, July 5, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.

To pay your electric bill, call toll free 1-844-749-3055 or access your SmartHub account, click here for ways to make a payment: Pay My Bill

CUSTOMER ALERT

Grand Haven Board of Light & Power customers have recently been experiencing a number of fraud calls. If someone calls threatening to cut off your power if you don’t pay, hang up. THIS IS A SCAM! BLP Customer Account Representatives would not initiate contact to request credit card and personal information over the phone. Always report telephone scams to the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety 616-842-3460.

The end of an era by Alexander Sinn, Grand Haven Tribune

A pair of fluffy, fiery falcon chicks living high above Harbor Island will be the J.B. Sims plant’s final residents.

The two chicks, one male and one female, make 47 birds in all banded for research by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at the Grand Haven site since 2001. The two new chicks were banded Friday morning at their home in a small nesting box midway up the stack.

Last week, three chicks were banded at Consumers Energy’s Campbell complex in Port Sheldon. Muskegon’s B.C. Cobb coal plant saw 46 chicks banded before its closure in 2016.

The chicks at the Sims plant are a little more than four weeks old, DNR wildlife biologist Nik Kalejs said. With the help of BLP employees Derek Kean and Robert Shelley, Kalejs wrangled the chicks to attach federal and state bands to their legs that will help researchers identify them in the wild when they eventually take flight.

The chicks’ sharp talons drew blood from Kalejs’ hands as their adult parents swooped and circled restlessly overhead.

Michigan’s falcon banding program has helped spur a significant recovery for the federally protected and state endangered species. While the closure of coal plants throughout the region will eliminate nesting sites, Kalejs said the success of the program statewide should keep the bird population resilient.

“It’s always tough to lose a great site,” he said. “Without these artificial nest boxes, we wouldn’t be where we are. I think we’ll be OK overall as a statewide population.”

Banding was also recently conducted at Grand Rapids locations, including Grand Valley State University’s Eberhardt Center and the Kent County Courthouse.

BLP spokeswoman Renee Molyneaux said an open house will be hosted at the Sims plant in early October for a chance to tour the facility for the last time. The current plan is to run the steam plant through September, or as coal supplies last.

The demolition of the coal plant is expected to take place next June.

The BLP Board of Trustees meets June 27 to review plans from contractors on the municipal utility’s future. With the closure of the aging plant, the BLP intends to make a majority of energy purchases off the grid, including renewable resources, and build a small, gas-fired plant for local production.

Alexander Sinn – Grand Haven Tribune

BLP replaces canceled wind investment with lower-cost solar, by ALEXANDER SINN, Grand Haven Tribune

The Board of Light & Power is banking on renewable energy sources to provide the Grand Haven area’s power supply long into the future.

The BLP had invested in a 25-year plan to receive energy from the Pegasus wind project through the Michigan Public Power Agency, but swapped the investment for an increase in solar energy from a Tuscola County project. The new commitment is in addition to an existing contract with the solar project.

The new plan brings a net decrease in power costs, according to BLP General Manager Dave Walters, who spoke to Grand Haven City Council on Monday before the council approved the plan 5-0.

The swap in supplies will bring a cost savings of about $100,000 annually, Walters said, or about $2.5 million over the life of the contract.

“Solar energy is very, very competitive,” he said. “I actually see us getting more in the coming years. The result of this being a lower price is really the result of solar power getting cheaper, cheaper, cheaper.”

Mayor Geri McCaleb said the lower cost is “good news,” while Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Fritz said solar energy is an improving technology.

The canceled wind project had gone through the land permitting process, Walters said, but it required Federal Aviation Administration permits due to a small airport located near the site. There was also local pushback from residents on the new turbines, he added.

The long-term contracts will help the municipal utility reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2022. The latest solar commitment will provide about 2 percent of the utility’s power, or 6,500 megawatt-hours per year, according to Walters.

The state of Michigan requires utilities to provide 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources, and that level is increasing to 15 percent. Walters said the BLP is currently in compliance with about 8.5 percent renewables, including credits banked from previous years.

The BLP is transitioning toward purchasing a majority of its power off the grid with the retirement of the Sims coal-fired plant on Harbor Island in June 2020. A gas-fired engine will provide some local power, while other options such as a community solar garden will be explored.

The municipal utility’s Board of Trustees approved the replacement of wind with solar at its May 16 meeting.

Long-term contracts are regularly brought before the City Council, while short-term purchases off the grid are usually handled without the council’s pre-approval. The City Council last year approved a resolution to bring more oversight to BLP projects, and there is an ongoing disagreement between the city and the BLP board regarding the level of oversight necessary to make energy purchases.

Alexander, Sinn – Grand Haven Tribune

Notice – Memorial Day 2019

Please note that our Service Center will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2019 to celebrate Memorial Day. If you need to pay your bill, you may do so online at ghblp.org or by calling our toll-free number 1-844-749-3055.

Grand Haven BLP Customers Lose Power Due To Freezing Rain and Ice

Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Grand Haven– Freezing rain and ice was the cause of power outages to Board of Light & Power customers beginning in the early hours of the morning on February 6, 2019.

Icy Storm, Winter Power Outage

Grand Haven Tribune – photo credit to Becky Vargo

The first reported outage affected 808 customers at 1:51 AM in the West Spring Lake Road area north to Hemlock. Power was restored to all by 8:04 AM. This area lost power again at 8:11 AM with power restored at 9:21 AM.

At 2:46 AM, 2,195 customers lost power in the City of Grand Haven from North Harbor to Colfax and east to Beechtree Street. Power was restored to these customers at 7:30 AM.

At 4:47 AM, 1,042 customers lost power in the City of Grand Haven from Colfax south to Robbins Road. Power was restored at 7:06 AM.

All outages were due to fallen trees or limbs on the lines.

A few scattered outages remain, affecting 1-2 customers at a time. Crews are working to restore power to these customers as safely and quickly as possible.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as our crews work to safely restore power. We would like to remind customers to report power outages in the BLP’s Outage Center, which is on our website at ghblp.org, or by calling 616-846-6250.

Ice Storm February 6, 2019

Freezing rain and ice have caused power outages throughout the GHBLP system. BLP crews have been working since the early morning hours to restore power throughout the area. A few scattered outages remain in the Grand Haven area. At 8:07 am, West Spring Lake Road customers from Ferrysburg to 168th lost power and crews are currently working to locate the cause.

 

If you lose power, please report your location at ghblp.org on the Outage Center icon or call 616-846-6250. Thank you for your patience as we work to restore power to all customers.