Holland BPW ups ‘green’ energy sources, offers customers option of buying …

June 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News


HOLLAND, MI — Holland Board of Public Works customers who are looking to go “green” with their energy use can now opt to purchase their power entirely from renewable sources.

Starting Monday, July 1, the municipal utility will offer an elective renewable energy rate for its customers who want to get all or part of their power from wind, solar, biomass or other renewable source. The renewable rate will be 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour – only 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour more than BPW’s base electric rate.

“At a cost of about $9 more per month, (residential customers) can get all their power from renewables,” BPW General Manager David Koster said. “I think that’s enticing.”

Koster says interest in purchasing renewable power was noted on recent customer service surveys. Customers can purchase energy in blocks of 100 kilowatt hours or as a percentage of their monthly electric usage, utility spokeswoman Anne Saliers said.

Last year, nearly 5 percent of BPW’s energy supply came from renewables, primarily through purchase power agreements with a generating station in Grayling for biomass and North American Natural Resources and Granger for landfill-based methane gas generation.

However, two recent contracts for wind energy – one for the E. ON Wildcat project in central Indiana and the Beebe Wind project near Ithaca – is expected to generate 32 megawatts of wind energy, boosting BPW’s supply of renewables to more than 16 percent of the utility’s capacity by 2015.

“This puts us as a leader among Michigan utilities,” Koster said.

Under Michigan Public Act 295, utilities have to have at least 10 percent of their electric power generated from renewable resources by 2015.

Customers who want to sign up for the renewable rate have to commit to the program for a minimum of one year and can learn more by calling the BPW at 355-1500 or going to the utility’s website.

“If we had people signing on and signing off (month to month), it would be hard to plan the amount of renewable energy we need to have,” Saliers said of the year commitment.

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