Holland Energy Park Celebrates Grand Opening
HOLLAND, MI Holland Board of Public Works celebrated the opening of its $240 million Holland Energy Park last week in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, reception and tour that also celebrated its Envision Platinum rating from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure, the highest project rating possible. HDR served as owner's engineer on the project and brought in many other disciplines including economists, architects and members of the sustainability and resiliency teams.
The new combined-cycle natural gas power plant reduces carbon emissions by 50 percent and virtually eliminates solid particle pollutants. It also doubles the fuel efficiency of Holland's former power generation. The building's modern design creates an eastern gateway to the city, and HDR landscape architects created an open, public space connecting Windmill Island Gardens to the Macatawa Greenway trail system, complete with walking paths, a waterfall and extensive natural greenery and native plants.
HDR economists produced a Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) analysis - a first-of-its-kind for the power generation industry - in tandem with a traditional alternatives analysis. This thorough analysis showed the financial, social, economic, environmental and health impacts of various generation options.
The plant is also unique in that it feeds the largest hot water snowmelt loop system in the country. "Holland gets 200 inches of lake-effect snow every winter so keeping downtown accessible in the winter is important," said Carrie Shuler, HDR project engineering manager.
Approximately 250 people attended the celebration. Speakers included Holland Mayor Nancy Boer and Dave Koster, General Manager for the Holland Board of Public Works.
"Today all of Holland has a reason to celebrate as we officially open a power plant that uniquely meets the needs of our community," Koster said. "Holland Energy Park is the product of nearly a decade of thoughtful research, careful planning and precise building. We are so proud of what Holland Energy Park and its visitor center mean for our city."