Construction has begun on the Delta Energy Park power plant in Lansing, MI, according to Lansing’s Board of Water and Light (BWL), the third largest electric utility in the state. The 250 MW power plant will replace two retiring coal-fired plants.

In late 2017 when the $500 million project was first announced, BWL General Manager Dick Peffley said the plant is “the largest project” the BWL has ever taken on. The power plant is scheduled to be completed and fully operational by June 2021, a company spokeswoman told NGI.

Pending completion of the natural gas-fired plant, BWL plans to retire the 375 MW Eckert power plant in 2020, almost 100 years after its 1922 construction. The second coal-fired plant, the 160 MW Erickson Power Station, which came online in 1973, is scheduled to retire by 2025.

Following the retirement of the two coal-fired plants, BWL said it will be the largest coal-free utility in Michigan. The company added that the gas-fired facility, along with other investments in renewable energy sources, could reduce carbon emissions by 80% once the Erickson plant is retired. 

Delta Energy Park power plant is a part of BWL’s “Lansing Energy Tomorrow” plan to provide 30% clean energy to its nearly 97,000 customers by 2020 and 40% clean energy by 2030. Among other things, the plan includes an additional 100 MW of wind energy to the system and the expansion of BWL’s energy efficiency programs.