Electric Poles


Holland BPW is a strategic organization that sets goals and key performance indicators to ensure our community’s evolving utility needs are continually well-served. One area of focus is reliability. The services we provide are essential to the foundation of our community and you need to be able to count on them. How do we measure reliability? In the electric utility, we track performance using industry standards, such as SAIFI and SAIDI, which allow us to benchmark ourselves with other electric providers.

SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index) measures the average number of interruptions a customer experiences in one year. Holland BPW’s 2021 goal was that customers experience less than one sustained service interruption in the course of one year (0.75). In 2021, we beat our goal with a SAIFI index of 0.49, which means about one out of two customers experienced an outage. Sometimes utility maintenance requires planned outages; this year, about 5% of our outages were due to planned maintenance. In comparison, the total average SAIFI index for all power providers in Michigan is 0.93 interruptions.

SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) measures the average duration of outages in minutes. Our goal is to resolve outages within 50 minutes. In 2021, we beat our goal with a SAIDI index of 30.82. This means that customers who experienced an outage were restored, on average, in less than 31 minutes. How does that compare to other power utilities? The total average SAIDI index for all power providers in Michigan is 128.43 minutes.

Electric Line Replacements

Maintaining a reliable utility system requires proactive maintenance, inspections, and infrastructure replacements on a scheduled basis. Holland BPW’s electric distribution team has several ongoing electric line replacement projects. Here’s a list of what we accomplished in 2021:

  • Year 2 of the underground electric cable replacement project.
  • Overhead electric lines on College Ave. between 13th Street and 24th Street were replaced with underground lines.
  • Overhead lines on Pine Avenue were replaced. In this case overhead lines were the best solution.

Power Generation Maintenance

Another aspect of keeping the electric utility system reliable is diligence in routine maintenance at our electric generation facilities. Holland BPW is able to produce power locally with seven turbine generators, located within the City of Holland. The capability to generate our own power adds diversity to Holland BPW’s electric portfolio, which helps keep our rates competitive and our community’s access to electricity reliable.

There are two combustion turbine engines (CTG) and one steam turbine generator (STG) inside Holland Energy Park. The other generators are located in Holland BPW’s two peaking stations. 6th Street has one CTG and 48th Street has three CTGs. The peaking stations are used during periods of high demand, when grid prices are high.

This year, all units at the peaking stations were inspected. CTGs and generators received borescope inspections. A borescope is a tiny optical device that enables you to see in hard-to-reach places without dismantling the device. Thorough borescope inspections are effective techniques for identifying potential problems. Electrical testing was also done on the generators. The inspection results deemed that all of Holland BPW’s CTGs and generators are fit for service. Inspections also provide valuable information and recommendations that guide plans for future maintenance.