The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) has announced it will build a new, cleaner and efficient $500 million natural gas-fired power plant at the Erickson Power Station facility in Delta Township.
The new plant will generate 250 megawatts and create 1,200 construction jobs to complement its investment in renewable energy projects and its energy efficiency programs, part of its Lansing Energy Tomorrow plan, which includes retiring the BWL’s coal-fired Eckert plant.
“This new plant will be the largest project the BWL has ever taken on and allows us to remove a major coal-fired power plant from service,” said General Manager Dick Peffley. “Continuing to generate our own power will ensure Lansing’s energy independence for decades to come so we’re not relying on the grid.”
“Following McLaren’s $450 million announcement earlier this month, the BWL’s new plant combines to create nearly $1 billion in new construction activity in the Lansing region. This is unprecedented economic activity in recent memory,” said Peffley.
Eckert, scheduled to retire in 2020, was first constructed in 1922. Erickson was first built in 1973 and is planned to retire in 2025 as the BWL expands its clean energy portfolio. Retiring these two plants will allow the BWL to become the biggest utility in Michigan that’s coal-free by 2025.
Peffley said the team committed to finding the location for the new plant came across a viable 50 acres of land at the RACER Trust site in its search, and contingent upon site review and negotiations determined it would be best used to relocate the Penn-Hazel Complex.
“BWL’s new clean and green power plant will build upon its already strong environmental stewardship for Metro Lansing,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, who played a leading role in creating RACER Trust during the GM bankruptcy proceedings to help remediate and repurpose vacant automotive facilities. “I’m particularly pleased by BWL’s decision to build a new complex on the RACER Trust site, formerly home to GM’s Verlinden auto plant.”