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New BWL Plant To Boost Environment, Economy

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing's Board of Water and Light on Monday afternoon flipped the switch on its new, $182 million cogeneration power plant that will use natural gas to produce electricity and steam.

BWL officials say the new plant will use less coal and will reduce its own carbon footprint by 50 percent, making it one of the cleanest power plants in the country.

Hundreds of people gathered on Monday for the power plant's grand opening in the 1200 block of South Washington. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) gave remarks and commended the city for completing a project they say will give a significant economic boost to REO Town. "This is a place that's ready for business. It's ready to turn around. It's ready to change," says Rogers. "That's a wise investment of taxpayer dollars that I think we will gain at the end of the day with economic development."

Rogers also supported an effort led by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero that would improve the area surrounding the BWL REO Town plant. As a result, Bernero's "Streetscape" revitalization program received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding that was used to add medians, nightlights and other beautification stamps in REO Town.

"Already we're seeing entrepreneurs come in. New shops and businesses—and we expect that to continue."

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