Once upon a time, Traverse City owned TCL&P (Traverse City Light & Power) produced electricity. (see picture at right) We had coal docks, a steam producing boiler, and turbines that were able to produce all of what was needed for Traverse City, and some surrounding area power needs.
In the early eighties, TCL&P, contracted with the county to operate power generation from three dams that were deeded to Grand Traverse County a decade before by Consumers Power. It cost them nothing. In the 90s, TCL&P erected the region’s first windmill, while at the same time reducing output and planning complete decommission of its coal fired facility which (by the way) was located on the valuable public waterfront.
Stories were plentiful about how the city was conscious of the environment, had to do their part, and how some folks would sign up for that ‘expensive’ energy which cost only 3 or four times the current rate. There were TCL&P customers who voluntarily paid for ‘green’ energy that came down the same transmission lines, even though it was the same electricity as the guy was getting next door for less.
I suppose a byline in the local fish wrap was worth it?