The public power provider recently announced that it struck a deal with Beebe Renewable Energy’s Phase 1B wind power project.
“We’re always looking at what would be good enhancements to get more diverse in our generation mix,” said Annette Allen, the Grand Haven utility's general manager.
The project is an expansion of the existing 81.6-megawatt Beebe 1A Project that was constructed in 2012 under a purchased power agreement with Consumers Energy. The project is owned and operated by Excelon Wind and is located east of Ithaca in Gratiot County.
“We’ve had this project come up before and it looked like it’d be a nice fit,” Allen said.
The Board of Light & Power will purchase up to 2.4 megawatts of energy from the Beebe project for 20 years. The agreement calls for a price not to exceed $48.95 per megawatt-hour.
“Although we don’t need it, it’s a good fit as it’s a good price for renewables,” Allen said. “It’s only a small piece, but it is a good first step.”
Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb said that while the municipal utility has to comply with renewable energy standards, she is skeptical of wind energy’s potential to meet future power requirements.
“I don’t think it is a good, long-term solution to our energy needs,” she said. “I certainly don’t think this is a long-term solution to anyone’s energy requirements.”
In light of a new state mandate (Public Act 295), power providers are on the lookout for opportunities to consider additional renewable options. The act requires power generators to produce 10 percent of their retail electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2015.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.