Start it Up!: An Interactive Diagram

You're in Control

The Holland Energy Park is based on combined cycle natural gas technology. Find out how the plant produces electricity and maximizes efficiency with this interactive diagram.



Power Output (MW)

Thermal Efficiency (%)


Snow Melt





  1. Turn UP the TURBINE #1 & #2 throttles to generate power using the natural gas combustion turbines.
  2. Turn ON the COMBINED CYCLE system to increase efficiency and power by recapturing waste heat.
  3. Turn ON the SNOW MELT system to increase efficiency even more and heat up Holland’s streets.

How it works:

Natural Gas

Natural gas is plentiful and more affordable than coal. It’s also significantly cleaner for the environment. Natural gas combustion produces 50% less carbon emissions, 66% less NOx and 99% less SOx.

Combustion Turbines

The Holland Energy Park generation station features two Siemens SGT-800 turbines rated at 50 megawatts each. A natural gas turbine operates much like a jet engine, except the thrust is used to generate electricity instead of propulsion.

  • First, air from outside is drawn in and compressed by several layers of turbine blades before flowing at high speed into the combustion system.
  • Then, in a ring of combustion chambers, the air mixes with natural gas fuel and burns at temperatures of more than 2000°F.
  • The result is a high-pressure, high-temperature gas stream that rapidly propels the engine’s turbine blades. The rotating blades turn a central shaft that performs two functions:
    1. Driving the attached generator to produce electricity.
    2. Driving the compression blades at the front of the turbine to draw in more air for combustion.

Combined Cycle Technology

The exhaust gas from each natural gas turbine flows into the plant’s Heat Recovery Steam Generation (HRSG #1 and #2) units. In the HRSGs, hot exhaust works its way through a closed system of pipes to heat water and convert it to steam. The steam is carried to a separate Steam Turbine to generate more electricity before it’s cooled to a liquid in the Condenser and cycled back to the HRSGs. This process increases the plant’s thermal efficiency to around 55% (the average coal plant is only 32-42% efficient).

Cooling Towers

The Holland Energy Park will have a bank of three attached Cooling Towers that are necessary to dissipate the heat from the combined cycle process. Hot water from the plant’s Condenser unit is pumped out to the towers to be cooled down before returning to the plant.

Snow Melt System

Our city is home to a 500,000 square foot snow melt system, a network of warm water pipes that keep the downtown sidewalks clear during Michigan’s harsh winters. While the snowmelt system isn’t a new concept for Holland, the method by which we power it will change with the establishment of the natural gas plant. Instead of heating the system using a coal-fired boiler at James De Young, the Holland Energy Park will use a heat exchanger to extract energy from the hot water in the cooling system before it is pumped to the towers. This will increase the thermal efficiency of the plant to nearly 60%, ensuring that we get the most out of each molecule burned.