News & Information

PHONE SCAM

GHBLP Customers are currently receiving #SCAM phone 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 Department of Public Safety 616-842-3460.

HARBOR ISLAND SITE IMPROVEMENTS AND ROLLOUT OF ADVANCED METER INFRASTRUCTURE

COMMUNITY NEWS

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Grand Haven – At last week’s Board of Directors meeting, the Board of Light and Power approved contracting with Catskill Remedial Contracting Services, Inc in the amount of $2,064,061, contingent on receiving the necessary permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (MDEGLE), to perform the clean closure of the coal combustion residuals impoundments on Harbor Island. Additionally, the Board approved the purchase of 1.85 acres of wetland credits in the amount of $148,000 and set a 2020 Phase I project budget for this work at $3,000,000 (including project contingency and landfill disposal charges).

MDEGLE had previously notified the BLP that the impoundments would need to be closed by December 2020 or the utility would need to submit an application for a 5-year operating license. Based on this information, a project schedule to clean close the impoundments by removal was moved ahead to 2020 to ensure this deadline would be met.

Gerald Witherell, Board Vice-Chair stated, “Now that Sims is closed, this is the first step in the remediation of the Sims site. BLP staff, legal advisors, and environmental engineering consultants have recommended this initial remediation plan to ensure applicable MDEGLE requirements in these regards are met.”

David Walters, General Manager added, “This initial Coal Ash Remediation work is contingent on receiving the necessary permits from MDEGLE, expected in the next several weeks.” The cost of this work is to be reimbursed using BLP Electric Revenue Bonds to be issued under the Notice of Intent published in the Grand Haven Tribune on March 6, 2020. “The Board’s contract and budget approval ensures the utility is on track to meet the stringent deadlines set by MDEGLE and is another step toward meeting our Strategic Plan initiative to transition the utility to a more sustainable, economical, and diversified power supply portfolio.”

Demolition of Sims is expected to be completed in mid-2021 at a cost of $5.2 million. Other work scheduled to be concluded by 12/31/20 includes the installation of interim snowmelt equipment ($0.8 million), Harbor Island Electrical Substation Reconstruction ($4.0 million) and installation of Advanced Meter Infrastructure ($2.0 million). This approved work has an estimated cost of approximately $15 million dollars.

The BLP will begin its system-wide installation of advanced meters in April 2020 with expected project completion by fall 2020. These installations and technology upgrades should be transparent and will not normally require any action by customers to complete the process; however, a brief power outage may be required during the meter installation process. BLP crews will attempt to contact residential customers immediately prior to installation to let those who are home know we will be changing the meter. If an outage is required for the BLP’s large commercial or industrial customers, the BLP will schedule the work in advance.

Grand Haven’s snowmelt system heat will be supplied by the Sims Plant’s auxiliary boiler for the remaining portion of the winter. An interim snowmelt solution was approved at the Board’s February 20, 2020 meeting with expected completion in Fall 2020. This equipment will then be moved later into newly constructed facilities on the Sims site.

There are several components of the Harbor Island Redevelopment Project on the Sims Power Plant site that are further being discussed and evaluated but have not yet been approved by the Board. The BLP’s current estimates for potential improvements now being considered for 2021-2023 includes Coal Dock and Storage Yard Remediation ($1.7 million), Coal Yard associated Wetlands Restoration ($0.8 million), additional future potential Coal Ash Remediation ($2.5 million), Non-generation Building and Facilities ($8.0 million) including system control room, offices, large conference room, work and garage spaces, and final snowmelt heat source installation.

“There is a very high probability this work will be determined necessary by the BLP at some level in the coming months and will move forward,” Walters said. “These items total an additional $13 million.”

The BLP is also continuing its evaluation of potential future power generation on the Sims site, while the size and configuration of the equipment being evaluated has been substantially reduced. Current considerations for this generation component include the installation of 10-22.5 MW of Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) driven and natural gas-fired generation, to be coupled with the new snowmelt equipment, at an additional estimated cost of $12-32 million. The amount of generation to be installed, if any, will be determined by the Board after this evaluation is completed, likely to occur in the next six months.

The BLP provides electricity for approximately 14,500 customers in Grand Haven and the surrounding area.

 

 

March 19, 2020 Board Meeting Agenda

The agenda for the March 19, 2020 Board of Directors meeting will be limited to only the items the Board needs to address this month. We encourage those wishing to make “public comment”  who may not want to attend the meeting in person to do so by recording their comment in writing and submitting it into our parking lot drop box prior to 4:00 pm on March 19th.

Board Agenda 03 19 20

 

Effective Immediately!

Our office is CLOSED to the public to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Payments can be placed in our dropbox located next to our parking lot at our
Service Center, 1700 Eaton Drive, Grand Haven

Other ways to conduct business:

Visit our website to pay online at ghblp.org

by phone by calling: 1-844-749-3055

Starting new service or disconnecting service: call 616-846-6250

 Need more help?

Call us at 616-846-6250 or email us at customerservice@ghblp.org

Phone Line Issue Resolved

Thank you for your patience during our external phone line issue.  Our provider has reported the problem has been resolved. If you need any assistance please call Customer Service at 616-846-6250 or contact us by email at customerservice@ghblp.org.

Phone Line Issues- Friday, March 6, 2020

We are experiencing external phone line issues. We will keep you informed as we receive updates. If you need to contact us immediately, please email our Customer Account Representatives at customerservice@ghblp.org or visit our Service Center at 1700 Eaton Drive.  Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 5:00pm. Than you for your understanding during this phone line outage.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – LAST OF SIMS POWER PLANT COAL INVENTORY NEARLY GONE

COMMUNITY NEWS


Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Grand Haven – The Board of Light & Power’s J.B. Sims Generating Station on Harbor Island is burning through its final pile of coal today and expects to cease plant operations sometime early Thursday, February 13, 2020. The BLP is successfully progressing through its Strategic Plan objective to transition from primarily one fuel source to a more sustainable, economical, and diversified power supply portfolio for the community.

“The Board approved ceasing operations of the Sims Power Plant on June 1, 2020, at its April 2018 meeting and City Council ratified this decision at their November 2018 meeting. Transition efforts to move the utility to a diversified power supply portfolio began and the Board has now successfully burned through approximately $6.8 million dollars of coal inventory that was on its dock in late 2018. This achievement could not have happened without the dedicated efforts of the many Sims employees, who have been working short-staffed over the last several months due to reductions in its workforce created through attrition,” stated David Walters, General Manager.

“This achievement is a win for our community,” stated Gerald Witherell, Board of Light & Power Vice-Chair. “We set a goal to shut the plant down after we have burned through all inventory to ensure the utility would not sustain further financial losses. Plant employees should be commended for their efforts to continue running a power plant that has reached the end of its useful life.”

Following the shutdown, the BLP will purchase 100% of its power supply through the Michigan Public Power Agency, as it has done for many years during planned and forced outages. MPPA has already secured lower-cost power supply commitments on Grand Haven’s behalf for the next year. BLP staff is also in the process of evaluating longer-term options and the
installation of smaller backup natural gas-fired generation on Harbor Island that may make economic sense to supplement and complement purchases from MPPA.

The BLP awarded the Sims demolition contract to low bid Bierlein Companies, Inc. in the amount of $5,053,333 at its December 2019 meeting. Decommissioning efforts will begin following the plant shutdown with demolition and site remediation efforts to begin in earnest beginning June 1, 2020.

Grand Haven’s snowmelt system heat will be supplied by the plant’s auxiliary boiler for the remaining portion of this winter. A longer-term snow melt solution was presented to the Board at yesterday afternoon’s work session for consideration at its February 20, 2020, regular Board meeting.

The Board of Light and Power produces and distributes electricity for approximately 14,500 customers in Grand Haven and the surrounding area. Grand Haven Board of Light & Power. Providing quality, local electric service since 1896.