BWL talks new outage management system

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – A recent audit shows the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s relatively new outage management system isn’t performing as it should.

Now there’s talks of replacing that costly system, a process that will last two more years and will be paid for by BWL customers.

“When you follow the procedures the projects come together without any issues,” said Dick Peffley, general manager, Lansing Board of Water and Light.

Efficiency, that’s what the Lansing Board of Water and Light is hoping with a new outage management system.

“I think it’s very unfortunate. I think this happens with all utilities. You have to have an emergency management system in place,” said Robert Nelson, member, non-voting advisory.

According to an internal audit the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s outage management system went live without proper testing, could not perform as promised and failed during the 2013 ice storm.

“Well the system doesn’t deliver the functionality that we need to be moving into the future,” said Dick Peffley, general manager, Lansing Board of Water and Light.

Back in 2013 the company purchased a system from General Electric at a cost of over $600,000.

“We want to make sure it’s fully vetted before it’s implemented. We want it to run parallel with the existing system so we don’t put something on a line and when it’s called upon it fails.”

But what does that mean for BWL customers? As of right now the future is up in the air.

“We worked very hard last year to not raise the rates and when you have to replace a system that you bought in 2013, that’s frustrating to me.”

But what is known is customers will be paying for a new system when the old one is barely out of the box.

Right now the BWL is looking at eight different bids from multiple companies interested in handling the project.

There’s no word yet, on what the final cost could be.

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