lansing board of water and light http://michiganradio.org en BWL looks to solar energy http://michiganradio.org/post/bwl-looks-solar-energy <p>The Lansing Board of Water and Light wants to build Michigan’s largest solar power facility.</p><p></p><p>BWL officials say they want to contract with companies or organizations to build a solar power facility to generate up to five megawatts of electricity. Altogether the project could potentially be five times bigger than the next largest solar array in the state.</p><p></p><p>BWL’s proposal is a little vague on specifics, including where a facility would be located.</p><p></p><p>A utility spokesman says the project could provide enough electricity to power 2500 homes.</p><p></p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:43:48 +0000 Steve Carmody 17895 at http://michiganradio.org BWL looks to solar energy BWL launches program to head off problems from future storm-related power outages http://michiganradio.org/post/bwl-launches-program-head-problems-future-storm-related-power-outages <p>Lansing residents will get some additional help next time a massive ice storm knocks out their electricity.</p><p></p><p>Last December, about 40,000 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers lost their power during a pre-Christmas ice storm. Thousands spent the holiday in the dark as utility crews tried to restore power. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The heavy ice yanked the wiring out of about 1,000 homes and businesses. Homeowners had to track down electricians during the holidays to reconnect homes to electric meters before power could be restored. Many had to wait 11 to 12 days.</p><p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 21:11:18 +0000 Steve Carmody 17867 at http://michiganradio.org BWL launches program to head off problems from future storm-related power outages Utility regulators say the Lansing Board of Water & Light was not prepared for December ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/utility-regulators-say-lansing-board-water-light-was-not-prepared-december-ice-storm <p>State utility regulators are the latest to give Lansing’s city electric utility poor marks for how it handled a massive ice storm in December.</p><p><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/bwlreport_457837_7.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Public Service Commission says</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> the Lansing Board of Water &amp; Light was not prepared for the Dec. 21 ice storm that knocked out power to about 40,000 </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> customers. Many customers had to wait 10 days or more to get their electricity restored.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span>MPSC<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> report echoes the findings of </span><a href="http://www.lbwl.com/outagereport/" style="line-height: 1.5;">BWL’s own internal review </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and </span><a href="http://media.mlive.com/lansing-news/other/CRT%20Report_May%205_FINAL%20PDF.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">a panel appointed by Lansing’s mayor</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Among other things, the </span>MPSC<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> needs to improve its tree trimming and communications programs. The public service commission does not regulate </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, so its findings are little more than recommendations for change.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lansing Mayor </span>Virg<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bernero<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> asked for the state review. He says the three reports will provide a “road map” for </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to be a more reliable energy provider.</span></p><p>BWL’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> general manager issued a statement saying the utility has “already begun implementing many of the improvements recommended by the MPSC.”</span></p><p> Fri, 30 May 2014 19:59:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17809 at http://michiganradio.org Utility regulators say the Lansing Board of Water & Light was not prepared for December ice storm BWL plans to hire a "czar" to guide planning for future emergencies http://michiganradio.org/post/bwl-plans-hire-czar-guide-planning-future-emergencies <p>The Lansing Board of Water and Light plans to hire someone to handle planning for future emergencies.</p><p></p><p>One of the biggest criticisms BWL received after last December’s major power outage was that the utility wasn't communicating well with those most affected.</p><p></p><p>About 40,000 people lost power during the Dec. 21 ice storm. Many had to wait 10 days or more to get their lights turned back on.</p><p></p><p>A recent report claims the utility also failed to keep in touch with local governments, which were also struggling to recover from a major pre-Christmas ice storm.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 23:32:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17519 at http://michiganradio.org BWL plans to hire a "czar" to guide planning for future emergencies Report: Internal problems added to length of BWL outage last December http://michiganradio.org/post/report-internal-problems-added-length-bwl-outage-last-december <p>The length of last December's power outage in Lansing was made worse by problems within the city's utility, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/222116753/Report-on-the-Lansing-Board-of-Water-Light-s-storm-response">a new report.</a></p> Tue, 06 May 2014 00:13:10 +0000 Steve Carmody 17486 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Internal problems added to length of BWL outage last December Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/faulty-communication-system-partly-blamed-confusion-after-december-ice-storm <p><a href="http://www.lbwl.com/outagereport/">An internal report</a> finds a key communication system that failed during December’s ice storm had been malfunctioning for months before the storm.</p><p></p><p>The Lansing Board of Water and Light released the findings of an internal review of its response to the storm last night. &nbsp;More than 35,000&nbsp;BWL customers lost power, some for as long as 10 days.</p><p></p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 03:39:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 16504 at http://michiganradio.org Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm BWL to release findings of internal probe into ice storm response http://michiganradio.org/post/bwl-release-findings-internal-probe-ice-storm-response <p>The panel that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light this evening will review the findings of a "top-to-bottom" internal probe of the utility’s response to a devastating December ice storm.</p><p></p><p>The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out electricity to more than 35,000 BWL customers. It took the utility more than a week to get the lights back on.</p><p></p><p>Customers complain the utility was slow to respond to the outage, and even slower to respond to their telephone calls.</p><p></p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:59:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16482 at http://michiganradio.org BWL to release findings of internal probe into ice storm response No drama as Lansing city council selects a president http://michiganradio.org/post/no-drama-lansing-city-council-selects-president <p>The Lansing City Council picked a new president last night.</p><p></p><p>It’s a routine bit of government business that in recent years has been anything but routine.</p><p></p><p>Sharp divisions between the supporters and opponents of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero have made the selection of a council president quite contentious during the past few years. Two years ago, the council needed a dozen votes to select a president. Last year, the selection process was rife with angry accusations.</p><p></p><p>But last night, A’Lynne Boles was elected president with little drama.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 02:37:37 +0000 Steve Carmody 16006 at http://michiganradio.org No drama as Lansing city council selects a president Lansing's mayor orders review of BWL's handling of last month's major power outage http://michiganradio.org/post/lansings-mayor-orders-review-bwls-handling-last-months-major-power-outage <p>Lansing’s mayor wants an independent review of how the city’s utility handled a major power outage last month.</p><p></p><p><a href="http://www.lbwl.com/About-the-BWL/News/BWL-Announces-Operational-and-Customer-Service-Actions-in-Response-to-Ice-Storm-Outage/">The Lansing Board of Water and Light</a> has been criticized for the long wait many of its customers had before their electricity was restored after the Dec. 22 ice storm. About 40% of BWL’s customers lost power after the storm. Many had to wait for more than a week to have their lights turned back on.</p><p></p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 03:18:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 15946 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing's mayor orders review of BWL's handling of last month's major power outage State regulators will investigate how Consumers Energy, DTE responded to major December power outage http://michiganradio.org/post/state-regulators-will-investigate-how-consumers-energy-dte-responded-major-december-power <p>State regulators are going to spend the next few months assessing how well Consumers Energy and DTE responded to a massive power outage after an ice storm last month.</p><p></p><p>It’s estimated 626,000 DTE and Consumers Energy customers lost power after the Dec.&nbsp;22 ice storm.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>It was New Year’s Eve by the time the utilities restored power to most of its customers.</p><p></p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 20:08:19 +0000 Steve Carmody 15941 at http://michiganradio.org State regulators will investigate how Consumers Energy, DTE responded to major December power outage Lansing BWL officials face critics of last month's major power outage response http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-bwl-officials-face-critics-last-months-major-power-outage-response <p>Lansing Board of Water and Light officials are defending their heavily criticized response to last month’s major power outage.</p><p>BWL customers like Alice Dreger are livid over having to wait more than a week for their power to be turned back on.</p><p>"Let me tell you, when you have live wires down for nine to 12 days, safety is not job one,” Dreger told a packed meeting last night at BWL’s headquarters.</p><p>But a majority of those taking the podium praised the work of BWL employees. Most were BWL employees and officials, though a few were BWL customers.</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:10:43 +0000 Steve Carmody 15927 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing BWL officials face critics of last month's major power outage response Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-bwl-officials-discuss-what-went-wrong-after-decembers-ice-storm <p>In the midst of the current weather crisis, Lansing utility officials plan to spend time tonight trying to figure out what went wrong during the last weather crisis in the capitol city.</p><p></p><p>Two weeks ago, an ice storm knocked out power to 40% of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers.</p><p></p><p>Many customers grew very angry as they waited for more than a week to get their electricity turned back on. That anger only grew worse when it was learned that the man in charge of the city’s utility left town during the outage to spend time with his family in New York.</p><p></p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 15910 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm In this morning's headlines: - 40 wind chill, Asian carp, Lansing utility to discuss ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-40-wind-chill-asian-carp-lansing-utility-discuss-ice-storm <p><strong>It's going to be another cold one</strong></p><p>Wind chills could reach 26 below zero in West Michigan, 32 below in mid Michigan, and 40 below in Southeast Michigan today. Gov. Rick Snyder is asking people to stay home during the cold snap.</p><p><strong>New report offers plans to fight Asian carp</strong><br /><br />"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a report years in the making that offers eight plans for preventing Asian carp and other species from migrating between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin. Some options involve placing physical barriers in the waterways to separate the watersheds. Other potential steps include use of locks, electric barriers and water treatment to remove invasive species," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Lansing utility scheduled to meet about ice storm that left thousands without power for days</strong></p><p>The Lansing Board of Water and Light is scheduled to meet tonight regarding the ice storm that left 40% of its customers without power for <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-public-utility-says-it-has-restored-power-entire-service-area-few-exceptions">more than a week</a>. The utility's general manager, &nbsp;J. Peter Lark, &nbsp;has<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/head-lansing-public-utility-says-hes-sorry-he-wont-resign"> apologized</a> for going to New York City on vacation when the power went out.</p><p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:18:28 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15911 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: - 40 wind chill, Asian carp, Lansing utility to discuss ice storm A weather disaster can devastate political careers http://michiganradio.org/post/weather-disaster-can-devastate-political-careers <p></p><p>If you haven’t noticed that much of our state has been semi-paralyzed by the snowstorm, then I assume you are reading from Florida. That actually happened yesterday. Someone called while I was shoveling to ask if we had any snow. When I sputtered with amazement, it turned out my caller was in Naples, where it was 82 degrees.</p><p>He had once been in politics, and while my hands froze, we talked briefly about politics and the weather and a man few remember today, Michael Bilandic. He had been elected mayor of Chicago in 1977, after the legendary first Mayor Daley dropped dead.</p><p>He was at first very popular, and his political future seemed assured. But exactly 35 years ago this month, Chicago was hit by a record blizzard. Think what we’ve got is bad?</p><p>Chicago was hit with more than 20 inches in less than two days, and the city wasn’t up for the challenge. Snow wasn’t cleared, people couldn’t get to work, and the mayor couldn’t keep his promises to clear parking lots and keep the airports open. Unfortunately for him, he had to face an election that spring, and with the weather disaster as the main issue, he lost.</p><p>I thought of him because Gov. Rick Snyder also mishandled a weather situation last month, when hundreds of thousands of people lost power, light and heat. The governor was nowhere to be seen.</p><p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 13:45:16 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15890 at http://michiganradio.org A weather disaster can devastate political careers Michigan utilities closely monitoring today's big snow storm http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-utilities-closely-monitoring-todays-big-snow-storm <p>Heavy snow is blanketing parts of Michigan that just recovered from an ice storm two weeks ago.</p><p></p><p>Hundreds of thousands of utility customers spent days, in some cases nearly two weeks, without electricity.</p><p></p><p>“At this point we’re monitoring, and ready to respond, depending on what weather may come,” says Dan Bishop, a Consumers Energy spokesman.</p><p></p><p>Statewide, utility officials are closely watching to see if weather conditions may threaten to undo the repair work done over the past few weeks.</p><p></p> Sun, 05 Jan 2014 18:32:11 +0000 Steve Carmody 15883 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan utilities closely monitoring today's big snow storm Where were the leaders while you were in the dark? http://michiganradio.org/post/where-were-leaders-while-you-were-dark <p></p><p>There was a lot of attention yesterday to the fact that when tens of thousands of Lansing-area customers lost power for days at Christmas, the head of the capitol city’s utility got going.</p><p>To New York City, on vacation. Yesterday, J. Peter Lark, the president of the Lansing Board of Water and Light, finally apologized for leaving when his customers were freezing.</p><p>Lark, whose compensation is more than $300,000 a year,&nbsp;said “There are times when we are called upon as leaders to make personal sacrifices in the line of duty,“ and then admitted he didn’t do that. He said. “I humbly and sincerely apologize.” Did he offer to resign? &nbsp;No, no, no.</p><p>Does he think his utility needs more oversight? Why, of course not! &nbsp;However, he said he might have some “community forums” to get consumer input about this. And he added, “I am prepared to ask the commission for a rate increase,“ evidently so the suffering people can pay even more for lousy service.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 14:38:25 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15870 at http://michiganradio.org Where were the leaders while you were in the dark? Head of Lansing public utility says he's sorry, but he won't resign http://michiganradio.org/post/head-lansing-public-utility-says-hes-sorry-he-wont-resign <p>The head of Lansing’s public utility says he won’t resign in the wake of a major ice storm that left hundreds of thousands of people in the dark over the holidays. J. Peter Lark, the general manager of Lansing Board of Water and Light issued this statement Thursday.</p><blockquote><p>As has been reported by some media outlets, I with my wife, traveled to New York to visit my son last week.</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 21:40:45 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15862 at http://michiganradio.org Head of Lansing public utility says he's sorry, but he won't resign Lansing public utility says it has restored power to entire service area, with a few exceptions http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-public-utility-says-it-has-restored-power-entire-service-area-few-exceptions <p>Lansing’s public utility says it has restored power to its entire service area. But on the utility’s facebook and twitter feeds, there are more than a dozen people claiming they still don’t have power.</p><p>A week and a half after a massive ice storm wiped out power to almost half Lansing’s customers, the public utility claims it has finally restored power to all but some single customers and possibly pockets of streets.</p> Wed, 01 Jan 2014 17:46:24 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15854 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing public utility says it has restored power to entire service area, with a few exceptions Blue Christmas for tens of thousands of Michiganders without electricity http://michiganradio.org/post/blue-christmas-tens-thousands-michiganders-without-electricity <p>About 150 thousand Michigan utility customers have spent another cold day waiting for their electricity to be restored. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Sunday’s ice storm left almost a half million Michigan homes and businesses without electricity.&nbsp;</p><p>As of midday, approximately 125,000 Consumer’s Energy customers were still without electricity.&nbsp; About 20,000 DTE Energy customers and 7,000 Lansing Board of Water &amp; Light customers were still in the dark as well.</p> Wed, 25 Dec 2013 18:42:21 +0000 Steve Carmody 15830 at http://michiganradio.org Blue Christmas for tens of thousands of Michiganders without electricity Thousands still without electricity in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/thousands-still-without-electricity-michigan <p>About 250,000 Michigan homes and businesses remain without power after a weekend ice storm that blacked out at least 482,000 homes and businesses and may have caused a Delta jetliner with 180 people on board to slide off a taxiway at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.<br /><br />The wintry blast hit Saturday night. The utilities say it will be days before most power is restored because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.<br /><br />DTE Energy says 56,000 of its affected 150,000 customers were off line.<br /> Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:54:05 +0000 The Associated Press 15816 at http://michiganradio.org Thousands still without electricity in Michigan