91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lansing utility announces plan for new $500 million natural gas plant

An artist's digital rendering of a big brick power station.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light Monday announced plans for a new natural gas power plant. The $500 million project will break ground a year from now and come online in the first quarter of 2021.

Lansing Board of Water and Light General Manager Dick Peffley says an older, dirtier, less efficient coal-powered plant is scheduled to be retired in 2020. Retiring the coal plant and building a cleaner, new natural gas plant is part of the utility’s plan to generate 30 percent of its electricity from cleaner energy sources by 2020. Peffley says they’re on schedule to hit that mark.

“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,” Peffley said in a press release. “Continuing to generate our own power will ensure Lansing’s energy independence for decades to come so we’re not relying on the grid.”

The natural gas plant will help to pick up the slack when wind and solar energy sources aren’t generating power. Peffley says Lansing Board of Water and Light is also investing in a major wind energy project in the thumb region.

The utility recently passed a three-year rate plan, so Peffley says customers won’t see surprise increases in their bills.

“Their rates won’t be affected other than the approved [rate] strategy that just went through,” Peffley said. 

Correction: an earlier headline for this story incorrectly said the new power plant was a $300 million project. It will actually cost $500 million. 

Tyler Scott is the weekend afternoon host at Michigan Public, though you can often hear him filling in at other times during the week. Tyler started in radio at age 18, as a board operator at WMLM 1520AM in Alma, Michigan, where he later became host of The Morning Show.