This year, Holland Energy Park (HEP) celebrated its grand opening marking the next phase of the decade-long journey for the award winning power plant. The natural gas power plant is a critical component in the City of Holland’s long-range Community Energy Plan, a 40-year plan to become a world-class leader in energy security, affordability, sustainability and efficiency.
Now featuring an elegant, modern building design, Holland Energy Park offers a 50% reduction in carbon emissions and virtual elimination of solid particle pollutants and doubles fuel efficiency over the James De Young Power Plant. Holland Energy Park has the latest combined-cycle natural gas generating technology, producing up to 145 megawatts of power to meet the needs of Holland’s growing community.
Holland Energy Park includes walking trails around the plant with plans to connect Windmill Island Gardens to the Macatawa Greenway trail system. The walking paths around the park are now open.
Holland Board of Public Works completed the visitor center in 2017. The Visitor Center, which is located in the red “spine” of Holland Energy Park, is a product of collaboration with the community. The exhibits stretch 351 feet long with educational interactives and views into the plant.
“Holland Energy Park has set a new standard for power plants around the world.”
“We are proud of what Holland Energy Park is doing for the environment and our Holland community,” said Dan Nally, HBPW business services director. “Holland Energy Park has set a new standard for power plants around the world.”
The exhibits are divided into seven sections covering everything from what energy is, how we create it, and how you can save energy at home. The sections include 14 hands-on interactive exhibits allowing visitors to experience how energy impacts daily life, like running a simulation of the Holland snowmelt system, virtually building an energy efficient home, or creating electricity with a hand crank.
The center is now open for scheduled group visits and will be available for smaller groups next spring.
Things are getting a little brighter in Holland. Holland Board of Public Works partnered with the City of Holland, Holland Charter Township and Park Township to upgrade to LED street lights. More than 1200 lights were upgraded throughout the communities this year, bringing the total to over 3500 lights.
The new LED lighting fixtures reduce kilowatt usage by up to 70%. The reductions save communities money on electric expenses, and the new lights offer brighter roads for our communities. That means safer passage for pedestrians, like the employees at Kraft Heinz.
“The new street lights provide improved visibility which means safer passage for our employees.”
“Our employee parking lot is located on the other side of the street, so the new street lights provide improved visibility which means safer passage for our employees,” said Marena Rash, engineering manager at Kraft Heinz. “Safety is our top priority at Kraft Heinz, so we’re glad that the new lights will help protect employees on their way to and from work.”
HBPW is working to replace lights in the city and townships and prioritizing projects by wattage.
City of Holland homeowners have a convenient new way to finance energy improvements with the On-Bill Loan Program offered by Holland Board of Public Works in partnership with Holland Energy Fund.
The first like it in Michigan, this loan program combines simple qualifying criteria, low fixed interest rates and the convenience of payment on your Holland Board of Public Works electric bill. The Holland On-Bill Loan Program went live in October 2016 after years of lobbying and planning.
Tabitha Wolters submitted the first application just days after the program went live and was the first resident to take advantage of the new program.
“It’s so great that Holland Board of Public Works and Holland Energy Fund make energy retrofitting possible for people in all income levels in Holland.”
Tabitha had already completed a weatherization program through the Ottawa County Community Action Agency and upgraded her home’s furnace and insulation, and took the next step to lower her energy bill through HBPW’s Lower my Bill Check Up. The results showed her best option was to replace all of her appliances and some windows.
“Replacing all of the appliances in your home at one time can seem like an impossible expense, but the On-Bill Loan Program and Holland Energy Fund made it possible for our family,” said Tabitha.
Tabitha and her family used the financing to replace all of the appliances and many of the windows in their home. Using the On-Bill Program, they pay their loan right on their energy bill each month.
Nineteen residents like Tabitha took advantage of the opportunity during the last fiscal year, with growing participation this year.
Studies show that investing $13,000 into energy saving improvements averages 34% in energy savings per household. If all 12,183 residential accounts in Holland participated, we could save 28,584,045 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year!
“The On-Bill Loan Program can serve as a blessing to so many families living in older homes that can’t afford the upfront investment on their own,” Tabitha said, “It’s so great that HBPW and Holland Energy Fund make energy retrofitting possible for people in all income levels in Holland.”
For over 150 companies and organizations, having an energy expert at their fingertips helped them save money and make educated energy decisions last year. The Holland Board of Public Works Community Energy Services department assists customers by helping them qualify for rebates, review incentive funding and offering counsel.
One of the organizations Community Energy Services worked with was Holland Rescue Mission. The Holland Rescue Mission has four buildings that serve our community’s homeless men, women, and children. This summer the mission invested in new lighting for two of its facilities: the Men’s Center and the Family Hope Ministry Center.
“Energy cost savings mean we can spend more of our time and money transforming lives.”
“Responsible stewardship of our donated funds is always top of mind at the Holland Rescue Mission. The cost savings we were going to experience combined with a very generous rebate program from HBPW made the decision a no-brainer,” said Darryl Bartlett, Holland Rescue Mission Executive Director.
The Holland Rescue Mission invested $7,500 in new lighting for the Men’s Center. They received a $5,300 rebate from HBPW and are experiencing $4,955 in annual savings. It only took six months for them to have 100% ROI on the project.
The Family Hope Center upgrade cost $31,000. With a $20,000 rebate and annual savings of $7,700, the Mission is set to have 100% ROI in just a year and a half.
“Energy cost savings mean we can spend more of our time and money transforming lives,” said Darryl. “We are tremendously grateful to HBPW for offering the rebates.”