Lansing Board of Water and Light approves nearly $1B utility discount for potential GM battery plant

‘Hopefully we’re selected’
Lansing Board of Water and Light approves nearly $1B utility discount for potential GM battery plant
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 10:47 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 11:09 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan is one step closer to bringing a battery plant to Delta Township as officials with the Lansing Board of Water and Light approved a utility discount for GM Tuesday.

It was the final piece of the proposal, which needed to get approved in order to bring a potential GM battery plant to Mid-Michigan.

Related: Lansing City Council unanimously votes in favor of moving forward with potential GM battery plant

Bob Trezise, the president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, pleaded his case Tuesday as to how big the decision is that was placed before the board. The Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) responded in a big way.

“Lansing Board of Water and Light board of commissioners just voted on a significant electric rate, utility plan for this project for the next 20 years,” Trezise said. “It was really the most crucial piece to our regional piece to the puzzle.”

Trezise said an adjustment to the potential plant’s energy bill is crucial.

BWL general manager Dick Peffley said the contract is $936 million over 20 years, but the people of Lansing won’t be footing the bill.

“It does not negatively impact any rate payer. It will not drive a rate increase,” Peffley said. “If you’re bringing that kind of load, we can do that for any customer.”

GM is considering proposals from a number of states that are eager to entice the auto giant to call their state home. Trezise said Lansing should stick out among all the other offers GM is receiving due to its proximity to other GM plants.

“The 590 acres this will be built on is already owned by GM, so there’s one cost GM doesn’t have. Secondly, its proximity to its current GM Lansing Delta Assembly and just a few miles from the Grand River Assembly, I think makes it a very centralized location.”

Now that everything has fallen into place between Delta Township, the city of Lansing and the Board of Water and Light, it’s time to official put the bid in for the GM battery plant. The proposal could be sent in as early as Wednesday morning.

Peffley said he hopes the deal will be a beacon to other large companies looking for a place to set up shop in Michigan.

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