Committee starts conversation on how to replace Eckert Power Station in 2020

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The Eckert Power Station in Lansing will be closing its doors in the near future and the Lansing Board of Water and Light wants you to weigh in on how it should be replaced.

Tonight a citizens advisory committee held its first of many meetings to launch what’s called an “Integrated Resources Plan.”

The Eckert Power Station in Lansing creates about one-third of the electricity in the service area, but is set to close in 2020 as part of an “Integrated Resources Plan” which has been crafted to help modernize the use of electricity in Lansing.

Thursday night at it’s first of many meetings, a Citizens Advisory Committee made up of nine BWL customers, experts in utility and energy, and local leaders, started the conversation on how to effectively make the transition.

“I think we laid out what we want to do, where we’re going with this, how we want to modernize our system, how we want to get Lansing ready for the furture,” George Stogic, executive director for planning and development for BWL said. “There’s several very important issues coming up and I think we got off to an excellent start.”

Right now there are a couple of plans in the making for replacing the Eckert Power Station, those include building a new plant, or buying power off the grid and using wind and solar energy.

Ideas some members of the public weighed in on Thursday night.

“This is a decision I don’t think should be rushed and I think it is a long range decision for our future energy,” one man said.

“This is a really great start; this is something that we’ve been wanting to see for a long time,” Brad Van Guilder, Lansing Sierra Club said. “Eckert’s only one part of the entire puzzle for BWL’s energy future, and so we feel it’s really important for them to talk about the entirety of their system and not just the Eckert power plant.”

“We’ll be listening very closely to the community, what the communities goals and interests are as well as of course the committee which will ultimately be making a recommendation to our board,” Stogic said.

The board will be meeting every month until January. If you would like to attend those meetings to give your input, those dates are October 21st, November 12th, December 9th, and January 6th.

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