BWL agrees to retire Erickson Coal Plant by 2025

Photo: LBWL

UPDATE: 10:49 p.m. –  By the end of 2025, coal powered generation in the Lansing region will no longer exist.

That’s because, after the Lansing Board of Water and Light shuts down it’s Eckert Plant, it’s setting it’s sights on the Erickson Plant as part of a deal with the Sierra Club.

The plant has been on Canal Road in Delta Township since 1973.

BWL officials said It’s road to retirement comes as the BWL continues investing in it’s clean energy programs.

“The BWL is undertaking a plan that we call the utility of the future,” George Stojic said. “We’re reorganizing; we’re focusing more on cleaner energy while maintaining our reliability and affordability.”

Stojic said the executive director for BWL’s strategic planning and development.

“We have a strategic plan that gets us to 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030 so what this does, is it moves us along the path that our board wants us to go,” he said.

The coal-fired generating station is one of two power plants that the BWL plans to shut down in the next decade.

The plan is part of an agreement between the utility and the Sierra Club that settles claims of Clean Air Act violations at the utility’s Erickson and Eckert Plants.

“It’s good news, it’s good news for people in the region, it’s good news for our air our water,” Regina Strong said.

Strong is the director of Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal Campaign” in Michigan.

She says, Wednesday’s announcement is a positive step toward protecting public health in Lansing.

“Getting to this point has really brought us beyond antiquated technologies to moving toward the future to Lansing’s positive energy future,” Strong said.

The utility company said by closing down both of its coal plants and increasing its clean energy production, BWL will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2030.

“I’m personally an asthmatic so for me it makes a big difference to know that we’re going to be seeing a much cleaner area, much more breathable area for Lansing as a whole,” Michigan Sierra Club Volunteer Leader, Anne Woiwode said. “This settlement clears the way for Lansing and LBWL to live up to their potential to be Michigan’s leading city in reaching clean energy and climate goals in coming decades.”

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Lansing Board of Water and Light has agreed to stop burning coal at its Erickson Generating Station before December 2025.

The utility also agreed to invest in specific clean energy programs.

The two steps are part of an agreement with the Sierra Club and settles claims of Clean Air Act violations at LBWL’s Erickson and Eckert Generating Stations in Lansing.

The agreement also makes enforceable LBWL’s previously announced plans to retire the Eckert plant by December 2020.

Under the agreement, the Lansing Board of Water and Light is also required to achieve a combined renewable energy-energy efficiency goal of 30 percent of their total retail sales by December 31, 2020, and 35 percent by December 31, 2025.

The utility will also establish a sustainability program designed to promote energy waste reduction or pollution prevention in the City of Lansing and surrounding community, with funding of at least $300,000.

Today’s announcement was hailed by one Sierra Club official who said the settlement “clears the way for Lansing and LBWL to live up to their potential to be Michigan’s leading city in reaching clean energy and climate goals in coming decades”.

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