LANSING, Mich. — At FOX 47 we explore all of Mid Michigan giving you an inside look into places you might have seen but never stepped into, to give you a feel for the location and maybe entice you to visit yourself. This week we are exploring the iconic Board of Water and Light Eckert Station
BWL's largest power plant, the Otto E. Eckert Station, was named after the utility's general manager from 1927 to 1966. The coal-fired generating station is located in downtown Lansing on the Grand River, adjacent to General Motors' Grand River Assembly Plant and the now-demolished Lansing Car Assembly Plant. Begun in 1922 and completed the following year, the power station has undergone numerous expansions and additions since, with the addition of the three chimneys in 1981. The station has a generating capacity of 351 megawatts, produced by burning coal from Wyoming's Powder River Basin. This plant has three 615-foot smokestacks, the tallest self-supporting structures in south central Michigan. These stacks are visible from fifteen miles (24 km) on a clear day. The stacks are known locally by the names of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, after the fishermen in a poem of the same name by Eugene Field. It was announced in December 2017 that the plant decommissioning has been accelerated, and is now scheduled to go offline in 2020.
As an eventual replacement for the aging Eckert Station, the utility began operating the REO Town Cogeneration Plant on July 1, 2013. The eight-story, 160,000 sq ft cogeneration facility located on Washington Avenue in Lansing's REO Town district has a capacity of 100 megawatts, and burns natural gas to generate electricity and steam.
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