New BWL power plant

edited July 2010 in Lansing
*edit* Project Webcam - REO Town Plant webcam

As this is a large project and it seems fairly likely to happen, I decided to go ahead and start a new thread.


BWL Announces Plans For New Power Plant - WILX

BWL plans $182M power plant in REO Town - LSJ

When I first heard of this project I was a bit worried about how it would look in REO Town, but I'm pretty happy with the rendering that WILX has shown. I think that this will be a good thing for that area.



  • This came as a total surprise to me, but a good one. I'm not at all thrilled by the massing. I'd have liked something far more modern for a change, but given that it's not just a power plant, I couldn't care less about what has to be a very early rendering.

    More important to me in all of this is the reuse of the old GTW Depot which I was almost sure would be eventually demolished since it has sat vacant for so long.

    All-in-all, as far as the impact on the neighborhood, to have such a high density of employment back on the avenue will be a game-changer for a ReoTown that has been struggling despite some reinvestment for years.

    Again, a huge surprise. This now has me wondering what else BWL will build to replace the rest of Eckert when they have to shut down the entire operation? Hopefully, they keep reinvesting right here in the heart of the city where appropriate.
  • I think it's great to see the vacant land being used. I'm not sure how it will affect the environmental quality around the site and the people that live near it though. How much emissions will the plant be putting out?
  • I don't know much about natural gas vs coal, other than that it's supposed to be quite a bit cleaner. I too would like know whether this will affect the air quality in the area, especially at ground level. Ideally, I don't think you should be able to hear or smell much of anything coming from the plant, that should be a priority given the location.
  • I think I heard that burning natural gas is 50% cleaner and I think BWL said that this will cut carbon emissions for all their operations about 22%. Even more importantly, this will greatly reduce the particulate matter released by burning coal.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the neighborhood seeing as how they've had to live in the direct shadow of Eckert and GM's LCA and LGR and before that REO. In fact, on a windy day the paint fumes blowing in from LGR can be absolutely stiffling for REOTown and Moores Park, and the incidences of asthma around Ekert have been higher than average for years. In fact, Ekert was required to clean up it's act in the early 80's and did so by adding the +600' chimneys to disperse more widely their emissions.

    Needless to say, this will be a huge improvement for the surrounding neighborhood that's literally already a few blocks from Ekert anyway. Though I do hope the BWL continues to consider more and more renewable options.
  • The problem with renewable energy for BWL is that in this area isn't well suited for any type of renewable energy source, at least not for mass-production.
  • Yep, even in very sunny or very windy areas renewables are rarely ever a baseload source of power. They can, however, be a significant part of a utility's energy portfolio which is what I was getting at, and I'd like the BWL to continue to get greener by the year. I'm just glad that they dropped their 'clean' coal plant proposal, and decided to break up the proposal to replace the Ekert into more managable and cleaner parts/phases.
  • The one renewable source of power that may work here is geothermal and that could easily be the main source of power for the area. While not renewable, nuclear is a great power source, I'd like to see it utilized more often. On another note for BWL to get any significant amount of power from wind or solar they will have to invest in power plants outside the area.

    I am interested to see what they plan to do to replace the rest of Eckert's units, and when they have to do that by.
  • Eckert has to be fully decommissioned by 2025, I believe.
  • @hood: I agree with you about nuclear being a great option, but I think that there will have to be a lot of work to change the public opinion about nuclear and its safety.

    I'm curious if property values are more adversely affected when a nuclear plant is built when compared to a coal plant.
  • Nuclear would be TOTALLY out of reach for a utility the size of the BWL. Forget the public controversy, even when that hurdled is cleared you have the hurdle of the cost to build nuclear plants which is prohibitive for any but the most wealthy and or largest utilities. A publically-owned utility like the BWL would find it very difficult cost-wise to convince their customers to sink the initial upfront cost for building a nuclear plant, though I'm a big fan of nuclear energy.
Sign In or Register to comment.