LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — On Tuesday, the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) hosted a grand opening ceremony for its new $500 million Delta Energy Park.

The ceremony was held at the park located on 3725 S. Canal Rd. and began at 10 a.m.

The focus of the grand opening ceremony was making the switch to cleaner energy.

The new plant will replace the BWL’s coal-fired Eckert Power Station, which will retire later this year.

The new Delta Energy Park generates 250 megawatts of power and is BWL’s second natural gas-fired plant.

“Natural gas plants have far less emissions than a coal-fired plant. As the Board of Water and Light continues to grow its renewable portfolio, wind and solar, primarily we have to make sure we back that energy supply up, because the renewables are intermittent. That’s what Delta Energy Park does for us.”

BWL General Manager, Dick Peffley

The new plant can respond faster than coal, with coal taking up to eight hours to start up, and the combined cycle taking only 10 minutes.

30,000 yards of concrete went into the plant, along with 10 miles of piping and 20,000 miles of electric cable.

Several officials were at Tuesday’s ceremony including BWL General Manager Dick Peffley, BWL Commission Chair Semone James, Delta Township Supervisor Ken Fletcher, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, State Representative Angela Witwer, and State Senator Tom Barrett.

Officials with BWL say they typically burn two million tons of coal in Lansing. By the end of this year, they won’t burn a single pound.

“If you look at the changing climate, you only have to turn the news on and look at the extreme weather events we are seeing. It’s very important to make a transition from traditional plants that were built in the 60s and 70s to cleaner energy, and that’s what we’re doing. We look at the Delta Energy Plant as a bridge between coal and renewable.”

BWL General Manager, Dick Peffley