Zeeland BPW Community Grant Program

ZEELAND, MI – April 2024 – The Zeeland Board of Public Works (Zeeland BPW) is excited to announce the revival of its Community Grant Program for the spring season. This initiative underscores Zeeland BPW’s commitment to supporting and fostering community development while ensuring the City of Zeeland continues to thrive for generations to come.

The Community Grant Program, offering reimbursement grants totaling up to $25,000, aims to channel resources back into the community, fueling projects that enhance the quality of life for residents.

“We are thrilled to reintroduce the Community Grant Program, which serves as a testament to our dedication to the vibrant community of Zeeland,” said Andrew Boatright, General Manager of the BPW. “This initiative provides a unique opportunity for schools, municipalities, and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, which we serve through water or electric services, to realize their innovative ideas and contribute to the betterment of our shared environment.”

Starting April 1 through May 3, 2024, interested parties are invited to submit their applications for consideration. Eligible applicants are encouraged to showcase their proposals, outlining how they plan to utilize Community Grant funding to positively impact the community.

“We encourage all eligible entities to seize this opportunity to collaborate with us in making a tangible difference in our community,” added Boatright. “Together, we can foster a culture of progress and prosperity that reflects the values of Zeeland.”

To learn more about the Community Grant Program and its application process, interested parties are encouraged to visit the official Zeeland BPW website at zeelandbpw.com/community-grant.


Zeeland BPW Boosts Holiday Cheer with Power Dollars

Zeeland, Michigan – Zeeland Board of Public Works (BPW) announces the return of its annual Holiday Power Dollars Program.  The tradition that began over 30 years ago incentivizes residential electric customers to decorate the exterior of their homes for the holidays. 

Starting on November 23rd, $15 in Holiday Power Dollars can be claimed online by all of our electric customers. “The Holiday Power Dollars Program is quite unique,” shared Andrew Boatright, Zeeland BPW’s General Manager. “In short, the program provides extra holiday cheer,” Boatright continued.

“Holiday Power Dollars can be used at participating businesses in Zeeland,” said Kate Chrisman, the Accounting and Finance Manager at Zeeland BPW. “I can’t think of a better way to support our area during the Holidays. Power Dollars encourages folks to decorate and gives our local businesses a boost.”

Residential electric customers can receive their Holiday Power Dollars by completing the online form. Digital Holiday Power Dollars can either be printed or saved to a smartphone. Participating merchants will scan the QR code to redeem the certificate and will receive 100% of the certificate’s value. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Boatright adds, “What started as a way to offset the cost of lighting yard cards, a long-standing Zeeland tradition, has turned into so much more and brought so much joy to this town we love.” 

As an added bonus this year, the BPW is holding a home decorating contest on Facebook as well. Homeowners can submit a photo of their outdoor decorations for a chance to win additional Holiday Power Dollar certificates (rules and regulations apply, see website for more details).

Power Dollars are available from Nov. 23 through Dec.10 and can be spent through Jan. 31, 2024. Visit zeelandbpw.com/powerdollars for more information.


Invenergy Completes Construction, Financing for Calhoun Solar

CHICAGO (September 1, 2021) – Invenergy, a leading privately held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, today announced the completion of term and construction financing for the 200-megawatt Calhoun Solar project, its first solar project in the state of Michigan.

CoBank, Natixis, and Export Development Canada acted as lead arrangers for the financing, which includes a construction loan that converts into a back-leverage term loan, sponsor bridge loan, and letter of credit facility.

Located in Calhoun County, the project is currently under construction and scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2022. The project will support approximately 300 jobs over the course of the construction period.

“Invenergy is proud to achieve construction financing for the Calhoun Solar project, an important step in bringing our first solar project in Michigan to fruition,” said Anneli Alers, Senior Vice President, Finance and Capital Markets at Invenergy. “The competitive credit facility structure for this project is a testament to Invenergy’s financing capabilities and strong track record with our valued lender partners.”

Invenergy has entered into three separate long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) with Michigan-based utilities for the output of the Calhoun Solar project. Consumers Energy will purchase 140 megawatts, Michigan Public Power Agency will purchase 50 megawatts, and Lansing Board of Water & Light will purchase 10 megawatts.

Invenergy prides itself on finding unique structures to bring wind and solar projects to completion with its customers, having contracted with a variety of counterparties including utilities, wholesale providers, and commercial and industrial (C&I) power purchasers across the US to support their efforts and audiences in reaching their sustainability goals.

About Invenergy

We are innovators building a sustainable world. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate large-scale sustainable energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago, and it has regional development offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Poland and Scotland. Invenergy has successfully developed more than 29,000 megawatts of projects that are in operation, construction or contracted, including wind, solar, and natural gas power generation facilities as well as advanced energy storage projects. For more information, please visit www.invenergy.com.

Gov. Whitmer Appoints Tremaine Phillips to the Michigan Public Service Commission


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today appointed Tremaine L. Phillips to the Michigan Public Service Commission. “The Michigan Public Service Commission is committed to protecting the public by ensuring safe, accessible energy and telecommunication services at reasonable rates,” Whitmer said. “Tremaine’s experience ranges from the utility sector, state government and clean energy advocacy. His diverse background will give him the knowledge and insight to be successful in his new role and is supported by a broad array of stakeholders from environmental groups to business organizations.” Tremaine L. Phillips is currently the director of the Cincinnati 2030 District and the former vice president of strategic initiatives for Empower Gas and Electric, LLC. He formerly served as the assistant deputy director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG), an energy program associate with the Michigan Environmental Council, and an intern with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In 2016, Tremaine was recognized as an emerging clean energy leader through the Midwest Energy News’ “40 Under 40” award. Tremaine earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy from Michigan State University, and his Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management and Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University. As current residents of Erlanger, Kentucky, Tremaine and his family look forward to moving back to his home state of Michigan. Mr. Phillips is appointed to succeed Norm Saari, whose term expired July 2, 2019, for a term commencing September 9, 2019 and expiring July 2, 2025. This appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Stateside: How communities should weigh the pros and cons of wind turbines

Michigan Radio

The Michigan Public Service Commission tells us that wind generation is the primary source of alternative energy in our state. But that means lots of wind turbines. As of last month, Michigan has a total of 1,051 operational turbines with more on the way. And while some communities will welcome wind farms, others push back to keep turbines out of their backyards.

Sarah Banas Mills has worked with and studies many Michigan communities while they decide whether to approve wind turbines. She’s with the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and discusses why wind developers are flocking to Michigan’s Thumb region.

BWL Completes Central Substation Project in REO Town


The Lansing Board of Water & Light announced today the completion of its Central Substation project located on the corner of W. Malcolm X St. and S. Washington Ave. in REO Town. The project’s completion also marks the re-opening of Scott Park. “This entire process has been very collaborative. Stationed at the gateway to REO Town, the public’s input was extremely important on how we designed the Central Substation,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “I’m proud of being able to deliver on what we originally promised to our customers, making this park space more accessible and inviting to our community while providing more reliable, affordable power to downtown Lansing and beyond.