Traverse City Light & Power prides itself on being a responsive and community-powered utility with a level of programs and services that enhance our quality of life and make Traverse City a better place to live. Our residential, commercial and industrial customers enjoy reliable power at low rates because we’re community owned. In addition to contributing to Traverse City’s financial stability, TCLP is also committed to investing in a wide variety of community-related projects that range from environmental programs to education.
The Mission of Traverse City Light & Power is to provide the Public Power benefits of safety, lower rates, high reliability, local control and exceptional customer service to the City and its residents and all Traverse City Light & Power customers.
To build the long-term value of Traverse City Light & Power for the benefit of Traverse City and its residents and all of Traverse City Light & Power customers.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, TCLP is prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: email@example.com.
TCLP currently is on track to accomplish our aggressive goal to receive 40% of power from renewable energy by 2025. We are working towards becoming carbon neutral, including 100% of power from renewable sources, by 2040. TCLP now serves more than 13,200 meters in the city of Traverse City as well as parts of the surrounding townships of East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield, and Peninsula.
As the environment started to become more of a concern TCLP was at the forefront of renewable generation adoption by purchasing and installing the largest wind turbine in the United States on the distribution system in 1996. This was followed by the decommissioning of the Bayside Plant in 2005, and a purchase agreement for 10 megawatts of wind generation in 2009. In 2013 TCLP partnered with Cherryland Electric Cooperative on Michigan’s first community solar project. TCLP partnered with Heritage Sustainable Energy in 2017 to install 1 megawatt of solar under the former TCLP wind turbine. This was further expanded to a total of 5 megawatts with the final addition occurring in the summer of 2023.
In September 1961 the dam in Mayfield washed out during a heavy rainstorm. This influx of water combined with the higher water flow of the Boardman River caused the Keystone Dam to washout. Later in 1964 construction of the final expansion of the Bayside Plant was started by removing one of the old exhaust stacks. For a myriad of reasons power generation costs in the 1970s skyrocketed. This led to TCLP investigating repowering the Sabin and Boardman dams that were decommissioned for power-producing purposes in the 1960s. These dams were later repowered in the 1980s along with modernization improvements for the Brown Bridge dam including a SCADA system that allowed remote monitoring and control. On April 2, 1979, a separate board was established for TCLP due to the growing complexity of energy markets and the added knowledge required of representatives. This allowed TCLP to expand beyond producing all the electricity locally. TCLP could instead rely on the transmission system and cheaper power contracts with larger generation resources to provide power to the city more economically.
In 1908 Queen City Light and Power Company announced plans to build a hydroelectric dam on the Boardman River just northwest of what is now the Keystone Rd S and W River Rd intersection. This dam, later named the Keystone Dam after the small settlement that was flooded upon its creation, was completed and powered up on October 4, 1909. After only three years in operation, the dam and electric facilities were sold to the city of Traverse City for $150,000. This purchase also included flowage rights for what was later known as the Brown Bridge Dam. In 1920 the city investigated constructing a steam power plant, and after months of debate, the city voted to construct a steam generation plant at the former waterworks site. After further investigation, it was found that it would be more economical to construct a second dam on the property the city had flowage rights to. Construction of the dam started in August of 1921 with the removal of a bridge and water wheel mill by William Walter Brown, after whom the dam was named after. The Brown Bridge Dam was completed in 1922 at a final cost of $250,000. Upon completion demand for electricity continued to rise which led to TCLP purchasing and installing a steam turbine in the former water works building, which would later become known as the Bayside Plant. The plant was later reconstructed in 1946 to add additional generation capacity.
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This organization is an equal opportunity provider and employer.